Hope Calls The Young

young peopleOne after another they crossed the stage to receive their Bibles and certificates, their anointing and/or baptism.

Twenty-four of them – young people grafted into the church through the sacraments and boldly proclaiming, “I want everyone to know I’m a Christian.”

Although I knew none of them personally, I watched with a lump in my throat and remembered the day when I, too, publicly declared I would follow this Jesus person and dedicate my life to him.

Did these young people feel that warm glow of gracious love? Their faces certainly shone with the joy of the moment and the end result of being courageous enough to give their souls back to their Creator.

After the service, I felt hope renewed as another generation of young people prepared to step into life with a purpose. These are the messengers of the coming Messiah, the generation that will usher in the King of kings.

They humbled me with their sweet testimonies, projected on the video screen as they talked about moms, dads and friends who persuaded them to consider Jesus.

They excited me as I thought about the opportunities they would have in such a technological world. How many friends might they bring to the Truth just by posting on Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat?

I envy these young ones with their lives ahead of them. While I could share some tips with them, they will learn well from their own experiences. They must walk this road in relationship with the best Mentor possible and listen to the divine whisper for their instructions.

Hope called me young, and what I saw last Sunday in my church spread into ripples of anticipation for what God will do through these young people.

I can hardly wait to see what happens.

©2016 RJ Thesman – Author of the Reverend G books http://amzn.to/1rXlCyh

Hope Dressed in Youth

Hands raised as the students answered my challenge, “What modifiers can we add to these nouns and verbs? How creative can you be?”

Cair Paravel schoolYoung faces, not yet wrinkled, with no worry lines between eyebrows. Fresh voices not yet affected by too many years or hard living.

I looked at them and found hope.

Most of them could not imagine ever becoming a writer, but the room was full of their creativity. They were unaware that at some point in life, God might touch a shoulder and say, “Write the words that I give you.”

We chatted about the writing process, and I encouraged them to read, read, read and write, write write. They told me the genres they like – fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction and more. I imagined them writing in those areas, then creating new genres similar to the sudden revelation of the dystopic Hunger Games.

They are headed for college, these Senior English students at Cair Paravel School in Topeka. Just one year away from pursuing their dreams.

Three of them love a grandparent who lives in the fog of Alzheimer’s. I hope to someday read one of their stories, written from the viewpoint of a young heart, telling the world how it feels when Grandpa no longer remembers you.

Whether or not they become writers, I see in them the future of scientific discovery – persevering to find a cure for Alzheimers. Perhaps some will be politicians who march past compromise, then change the course of history. Some will become parents who raise the next generation of wordsmiths. Others may join the clergy and spend a lifetime raising a congregation.

Whatever path they take, I hope some will pursue writing, to find joy in crafting the same 26 letters into words, then push forward to see their bylines in print.

But mostly, I see in these young, the larvae of new ideas, the energy of not-yet-used-up corpuscles, the vista of anything possible.

Hope multiples with youth, for in them we look forward to the next generation who will do life better, speak more clearly and spread God’s truth through the beauty of words.

©2014 RJ Thesman – “Intermission for Reverend G” – http://amzn.to/1l4oGoo