Occasionally, my husband moons me.
Because he can.
Because it's never not funny.
I just needed you to know that information before we move on. It makes the rest of this make so much more sense.
A few months ago, our church asked us to lead the youth. (See, it's already coming together isn't it?)
Listen, there was a million reasons we could have tried to play it cool. Play it off like it wasn't exactly what we had hoped for. Roll our eyes and talk about how hard it is to reach youth these days.
The temptation is strong for me. I think I came out of the womb cynical. By the time most of reach double digits we have seen enough of the world to know about it. We know the brokenness, the sin tendencies, and the incredible pain we can cause each other.
So we get cynical. We say we want to go in with "eyes wide open." We want to know what we are walking into so that we can go in armed and ready.
Eyes wide open.
So we read articles talking about why young people are leaving the church. We read the counter-articles about why the other articles are wrong. We read about reaching kids through technology. We read about programs and connectedness.
We just want to know what to expect. Knowing means not getting knocked down.
We case the joint. Find the exits. Profile the people.
Eyes wide open.
Somewhere in there, my husband moons me. He really is a wonderful man. Silly, funny, smart. Actually Wonder-filled.
He is curious and interested. He is sure that the way to figure things out is to look them in the eye and not already know.
And so he teaches me to ignore all that people know. He teaches me to ignore what I can see, what any 'ole expert can tell me. Anyone can look around and tell us these kids are too busy, too distracted, too disillusioned.
He teaches me to walk with my eyes wide open...for wonder.
It turns out all that cynicism was just squint. A dim picture that we could pain all by ourselves, a little fuzzy, narrow in scope. Limited.
It was just a squint the whole time.
So we open our eyes for the wonder that could happen. We look young people in the eye and we listen for their wonder.
Eyes wide open.
Hearts wide open.
Hands wide open.
Because really? Knowing it all? Cynicism? Pretending we can keep our eyes wide open? It's a sin.
It's original sin. We play God to protect ourselves. We build programs in the place of building the kingdom. We do things so we don't have to surrender ourselves to being with people. We generalize to guard against the pain of getting personal.
But to really have vision for this generation, we have to confess we don't know it all. Because God is doing a new thing.
To move hearts toward heaven, we have to confess we can't see it all. Because God works not just in flesh, but in spirit.
So we stink at technology. We stink at programs.
We can't play it cool at all.
We are eager. Expecting precisely because we have laid down our expectations.
Eyes wide open for a new generation, a new work of God.
I am so thankful for this hard and holy work of keeping my eyes wide with wonder. I'm glad I get to spend Wednesdays with these wonderful young people. I'm so glad I get to see the wonderful work of God.