This past weekend we had our Lake Norman Young Life Banquet to raise our annual budget & share the mission of Young Life in our town. Every year I anticipate the room being filled to the brim with 400 or so people from our community. My husband Ben works his tail off doing his normal workweeks including meetings, time at the high school, club, campaigners & then spends every hour he can cram in on the programs, slideshow, & video to make the details of the night excellent. He pours himself into these visual depictions of our ministry here in Lake Norman and I am always blown away by the diligence he exhibits as he gets it all just right just in time! He in quite the artist! Yet, it’s more than that really…
as Ben is guided by the Spirit about who to ask to share their story on the video, or what colors to use on the programs, or what music to play in the background he is simply serving wholeheartedly, in hopes that someone will catch a glimpse of Jesus & all He offers. One of the aspects I love most about Young Life is that it’s goal is not to bore a kid with the gospel & to do everything above&beyond with excellence. If you have ever walked onto a YL camp property you know this is true. Every inch of camp is prepared with great detail, down to the way the blankets are folded & the toilet paper is arranged. The best part… it all points to our Creator & the beauty that He offers us when we choose to walk with Him in this life. Ben blew me away last night with the video he orchestrated. He did it in a way to “wow” the attendees of the banquet so that they might see the heart of YL’s ministry, but mostly to show off the work that Jesus is doing in the lives of leaders and high school kids in Lake Norman.
While he was setting up for the banquet at Joe Gibbs Racing on Saturday, our eldest son tagged along to help. When I picked him up he hopped in the car with a twinkle in his eye & an extra hop in his step. I asked him how the morning was expecting a “it was fine” response like I get after preschool pickup, but this time he said: “I helped lay out the knives!” with exclamation in his tender 5 year old voice. With a proud mama smile on my face I asked him if he knew what the banquet was for & then explained a bit about why we do a banquet every year. He knows that daddy goes to YL to love people so that they might know Jesus so I used that as my platform. I went on to say that we host a banquet with a “feast” from 131 Main (yum!) to tell people how they can help YL stay around for the long haul. It was precious to see a lightbulb click & be proud that he was able to play a small roll in setting up for something so special. Anticipation was in the air!
As we rode home we listened to one of our favorite albums: Rain for Roots. It’s a compilation of kids songs based on scripture that is beautifully made with some amazing artists: Ellie Holcomb, Flo Paris, Sandra McCraken & Katy Bowser. Our most played tune is no. 7 called “Wedding Banquet” so in seizing the moment I turned it on for our ride home. Little man of my mine loves to chime in on the part where the kids are singing the chorus “Oh come, oh come, oh come The feast is ready here for you Oh come, oh come, oh come Come to the table of the Groom“. So we are all singing & I am praying it will seep into His heart that this whole “coming to feast at the table” is something He can be a part of just like our young life friends, if he wants to one day. Then the bridge comes:
Go out into the city streets and alleys
Collect all who look like they need a square meal
All the misfits and homeless and wretched you can find and bring them here
The servant said, “Sir, I did what you commanded and there’s still room.”
The Master said, “Then go out to the country roads; whoever you find drag them in. I want my house full!”
& then I had tears streaming down my face as my 3 little babies hummed along to such Truth singing hopeful words that I yearn will penetrate their little souls in real ways as they grow!!! [take a listen here: no.7]
How often do you & I forget that we can indulge in the feast that our Creator offers & that we can share the goodness & bring others to the table of the Groom?
I yearn to dine with my Maker & soak in His satisfying fruits more everyday & I pray He will lead me to those who are yearning to sit at the table with me!