Spring is the season of youth. Newness. Regeneration. The world must have been created inSpring! We look forward to this season of renewal in proportion to the severity of the winter we’ve had, so this Spring is especially appreciated.
Robert Browning put it nicely in his spring poem that concludes with the familiar line: God’s in His heaven – All’s right with the world! It’s easy to imagine the Garden of Eden in spring, and only spring,full of lush green – who could imagine snow in Eden, or brown leaves covering the ground?
At the bottom of the stairs outside my office this morning I saw a crocus, and I smiled out loud, and imagined how proud she felt in her purple outfit, eager to announce her season, knowing full well how much her arrival would be welcomed.
Speaking of the youthful season, our youth-led service on March 3 was a spring-like, inspiring celebration of Life, appreciated for the colorful music, the youth-group’s story for the children and their personal sharing, and the report from those who attended the recent Washington, D. C. trip to work with the homeless. There were carefully crafted statements by Max Sandler and Leila Fletcher.
Max wrote in the form of a play: SCENE 1 – TAKE 2. Interior of a run-down church basement at night. In this scene Max has a conversation with a homeless veteran whom he calls John, and when Max responds to John’s situation by saying, ‘Sorry,’ John says, “Don’t apologize! I’mnot sad about my life, why should you be? I may be homeless now, but if I dwell on that I’ll never get on with my life. I’ve found that if you think about a positive future, you’re more likely to have a positive present.”Max responds, “Wow!”
Leila wrote about her youth group experience with a ‘Power Shuffle,’ which she explained as done in the dark with the group following directions of a leader who asks questions to the group as they hallstand on one side of the candle-lit room. She says, “The first questions are easy, for example, ‘Are you girl?’ If your answer is yes, you move across the room. The questions get harder and require more courage and vulnerability to respond to honestly.
“The most important rule of the Power Shuffle is that no one can talk except the leader asking questions. This means that no one can judge you, but no one can support you either. The only sound in the room is the sound of feet shuffling across the floor.”
She then says, “For me, the Power Shuffle was one of the most powerful experiences of my life. There was one time when I heard all the feet depart from me and I stood alone…it was the most terrifying experience of my life…when I (finally) looked up I saw that the faces staring at me were not angry or judgmental…some faces were even crying silently.”
In my brief remarks I acknowledged that it takes a lot of courage to be a person at any age.