Last night I went to Canon City's high school Baccalaureate. (Who can ever spell that word without looking it up?) It made me proud to see some of our Young Life kids who are graduating up on stage. Because, gone are the days when Baccalaureate is a required part of graduation week. Now, it is entirely student led (heaven forbid the school system would allow a teacher to get involved) and entirely voluntary. And really, it's probably better that way. These students are declaring to the few of us that come (mostly parents a few youth leaders) that they follow Christ and that they want to depend on him even after they leave the nest. They lead us in worship which, to me, is a really cool symbol of them taking ownership of their faith and a really good reminder that they have as much to offer me as I have to offer them in this journey with Christ. And then someone, a trusted mentor, gets to stand and speak to them and encourage them to pursue Christ and find life in him alone. And we all get to pray over them. I try not to miss it.
Yesterday, I sat in the auditorium and watched as the kids came and gave their parents flowers as a way to say thanks for all you've done to get me to this point. And I remembered that two years ago, I watched as several boys came over to my husband and handed him their flowers. They were joking and laughing like high school boys do when they are embarrassed, but I sat beside Loren misty-eyed. Because I knew that these boys didn't have parents who cared about their faith. And they hadn't come to this service. For these boys, Loren was the one who told them about Jesus. And it made perfect sense to make a bee-line to him when it came time to thank someone.
It made me thankful for Young Life and a ministry whose mission is to reach out to those kids who don't even know they need Jesus, until they find him. And it made me thankful for my husband, whose heart can't help but love those kids. And mostly, it made me thankful that Christ doesn't need anything but a willing heart to redeem a broken story.