I took a little vacation from Liquid Kids yesterday. It was a huge blessing for many reasons. First, I got out of bed a full four hours later than I usually do on a Sunday morning. Second, I didn’t have to drive 35 minutes to get to church. And third, I didn’t have to work.
A completely stress-free Sunday (to an extent).
As I walked into our Morristown campus, a little nostalgia hit me as I navigated the crowded Liquid Kids area and made my way up the stairs to the main service.
I joined the service as a congregant, and for the first time in several months, I had no cares as I bowed before my Creator in worship.
That encounter with God, as powerful and intense as it was, paled in comparison to what I experienced after the service ended.
* * *
Before Liquid launched our New Brunswick campus, I was teaching elementary school lessons for Liquid Kids in Morristown. It wasn’t easy leaving the kids in Morristown when we launched our second campus, and saying goodbye to many of the kids with whom I’d developed relationships was one of the more difficult things I’ve had to do.
As Liquid New Brunswick got off the ground, I slowly began to forget the closeness I had with some of the people I said goodbye to in Morristown.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s just the nature of change.
* * *
As I passed the church welcome center on my way out, I ran into a girl named Tania.
I was struck by the amount of excitement on her face when she saw me walking by. It was like she couldn’t wait to wrap her tiny, grade-school arms around me.
I’ve blogged about this before, but it was especially evident in that moment.
Tania asked me where I’ve been, why I left, and when I was going to come back to teach her. I explained everything to her as simply as I could so that she could wrap her young mind around it.
When her mom came to take her home, Tania shouted a final “See you next week!” I wanted to melt. How could I say, “I won’t be here” to her?
I think God was showing me something about himself in that small interaction.
In many ways, God is like a child. We may abandon him, walk away for weeks, months, or even years. We may forget about him, and go about our own business. But when we draw close to him, he can’t wait to run to us and wrap his arms around us.
And like a child, he truly believes he’ll see us again soon.
I saw God in Tania on Sunday. It was quite an encounter.
Pay attention to the children in your life. You just might learn something about your Creator if you do.