Sunday, October 10, 2004

Everywhere I Go

I'm sitting in the hotel lobby in Warrenville, Illinois, waiting for a car to pick me up and take me to the airport. I spoke at a church this morning that meets in a movie theatre. The children attending this church outnumber the adults easily, and the grown-ups working in KidZone look and sound tired. Energetic, passionate, committed and tired.

It seems everywhere I go, I see this. People who love what they're doing, love to spend time with kids in a small group or love telling stories or love leading children in worship. But they're also tired. They suspect that what they do matters, but they sometimes feel overwhelmed and undernourished themselves.

And then there's church politics. Don't even get me started....

I am so burdened for people who work on the front lines of ministry. I know what you're doing, the revolution you want so badly to participate in but feel handcuffed by know-it-all pastors who think they could do your job better than you do. Or hands-off parents who want you to raise their kids for them.

And all the while you have your own kids who are clamoring for your attention and spouses who may have just given up on the idea that you might have a quiet dinner alone one Saturday night.

Everywhere I go I see the signs -- slumped shoulders, knit brows, heavy sighs.

But I also see other signs -- glimmers of hope, eager eyes, hungry hearts. The joy you feel when the light bulb goes on for someone. The tears you shed when you get the note that says you've made a real difference in the way some parent deals with their kid.

This is the kingdom of God breaking into our day. It comes in patches and spurts, but one day it will come in a flood -- an avalanche of grace falling on families, grandparents, children, single dads and working moms.

I see these signs everywhere I go.