On Friday evening I was walking into a church auditorium for a youth conference that was about to begin. We had three students from our ministry with us, but they had scattered looking for people they knew and a spot much closer to the front.
Makiah was with us.
What can I say, she's a hardcore 18month old rocker. She loves music and we were quite confident that the worship band was going to bring it*: an experience that she would love.**
So, we're about to walk into the auditorium, but were still in the buzz that is a conference venue foyer. You know, you've got colleges, missions agencies, child sponsorship programs, and band merchandise tables all competing for the attention of the teens who have cash to spend.*** You mix all that testosterone infused competition, with the buzz of students who have just been shooting back 5 hour energy drinks on the bus ride over, and add a tsunami of Axe Body spray and you've got the typical youth conference venue foyer.
Our heads were buzzing a little bit. Do we go right in? Do we want to pause and check out a booth or two? I forgot a pen, do you think anyone will give me one? Do any of the colleges have an iPad I can play with? If I stop here is that guy going to talk at me for 20 minutes about the awesomeness of their ministry in Timbucktwozistan, while I think about how I could have read all this in 30 seconds off their website, and wonder if that school over there has an iPad I could be looking this up on?
There is much to consider in a conference venue foyer.
And as we were walking towards the auditorium door, someone was grabbing my hand, to shake it and greet me.
A bit weird.
It was a guy I met five years ago in Northern Ireland, and hadn't seen in four.
We were able to chat a bit here and there over the course of the weekend. Catching up and hearing what God was doing in each of our lives.
It was wonderful.
Wonderful because it was such a picture of how the family of God is supposed to be. Brothers who can chat after four years of separation as if nothing and everything has changed.
We've both been through a lot in four years. Which is exciting. All the more exciting when you get to see similarities between the stories and share in the faithfulness and awesomeness of our God.
It was the highlight of my weekend. Right up there with my daughter dancing in my arms to the music.
Also had the opportunity to preach in church Sunday morning. Check back later and I'll post a link to hear the sermon online.
* They did
** She did. And I have to admit to a certain sense of awesomeness for getting my kid into such great concerts. She might as well experience as many as she can while she's free.
*** And I'm sorry, but colleges, when you're over there in the corner saying: "hey come chat with me, I have candy." You come across a little creepy. And no one is excited by pens anymore. Well, that's not entirely true. I'm excited by pens. But guess what: I graduated from college 10 years ago. I'm not your target audience. Your target audience doesn't use pens anymore. Just a few tips. By the way, thank you for the pens.