Monday, April 06, 2009

How the Spirit Moves

One of the regulars at our Lenten suppers and worship is a high school girl who comes with her grandmother. I've known this kid ever since she was a tiny tot -- who, again, came to church with either one or the other set of grandparents. I don't remember her ever speaking as a child; not once; when I cohosted coffee hour with my mom, she'd simply come through the line and point to what she wanted, even after reaching elementary-school age. She always seemed solemn, and sad.

At the beginning of Lent this year, she was likewise silent; she spent suppertime playing games on her cell phone, and when we tried engaging in some small talk with her to include her in the adult conversation, she just looked at us with a blank expression.

But over the weeks, something has been going on with this kid. She's started to smile. She's started looking people in the eye. I heard her actually responding to our pastor in a friendly manner. Last week after supper the pastor asked her to informally acolyte for Evening Prayer, and to me something seemed to light up inside her along with the candles as she served. On the way home Fellow Traveler and I both remarked that Lenten worship seemed to resonate with her in a profound way.

Tonight at our Evangelism Committee meeting the topic came up of including our teenagers more fully in the life of the church by getting them involved in our committees. When our pastor asked us who we thought might be a good candidate for the Evangelism Committee, Fellow Traveler and I both blurted out, "___________." We said she seemed to have a special affinity for being around adults, and a kind of gravity and thoughtfulness we needed. He smiled and nodded, and gave us background into her problematic family situation that finally put some pieces together for us and seemed to affirm that this was a good choice. Even if she declines our invitation, I think that a group of adults asking her to be a part of our group because we think she'd add something special to it would be an incredible gift to her.

This convergence gave me goosebumps, in a good way. I can be kvetchy about attending meetings...but they do seem to be places where the Spirit moves, sometimes.


Verdugo said...

I love, love, love this story.

Celebrating with you the surprising, miraculous, radical ways that the Spirit moves.

PS (PSanafter-thought) said...

There is something really wonderful about being asked to do something if the person (I'm thinking here of ME, when I've been asked) feels that the ask-er has been thoughtful and not just random in picking out who would be asked.

Some time ago I think you wrote about the many people who don't read in church and You commented on an education divide. We've had lay readers, preacher for 30 years, but lately, more and more people are doing it. The pastor actually works with those who are reluctant. It is amazing to see some people do things they wouldn't have thought they were capable of. We've had lay worship leaders for years, but a small group. After a worship leader training meeting (18 people attended) we've expanded that group. Some are even singing the liturgical parts...this in spite of the fact that when the pastor does it it is absolutely amazing because her voice is like angels singing. Praise be to God; we have the priesthood of all believers.

Mary Beth said...