Each fall I gather with a group of Ninth grade students and begin a 6 month conversation with them about this thing we call faith. We talk about God and Jesus and how one reads the Bible. We practice putting our values into action by serving the community. We do our best to overcome childhood ideas and open the door to new ways of thinking and understanding.
There are only a couple of ground rules:
- They can ask me anything they want and I will give them a honest answer.
- With the exception of one thing, they can say anything they want.
- The only thing they can’t say is “I don’t know.” as a way to avoid thinking or adding their thoughts to the conversation we are having.
So, we began last week.
Towards the end of our time together I gave them a piece of paper and asked them to list any questions they had about any of the topics we might spend some time talking about over the next several months. A couple of them laughed when they saw the word God.
“When I was little,” they said. “I thought you were God.”
I told them of the time when I was walking our dog and a little boy whose family was a part of the church saw me and turned to his Mom and said, “Mom, I didn’t know God had a dog.”
Sitting around the table and talking with me now, they shook their head wondering how they could have ever have been so naive.
But, as is so often the case, I walked away wondering…
Aren’t we supposed to be God to each other?
Light to those who struggle to find their way in the darkness?
Forgiveness to those who are being swallowed up by guilt?
Reminders of grace and gratitude in a world that too often focuses solely on me and mine?
A reminder of the Holy which daily brushes up against our lives?
I don’t mean for it to go to my head.
Or, to yours.
But, aren’t we?