Wednesday, April 2

by William Yates
"Sloppy, Beautiful Goofballs"

I experience the peace of Christ through the middle school youth here at Covenant. No, I’m not kidding, and no, I’m not being paid to say this. For me, it’s just true. When you sit back and watch them and listen and talk with them, it becomes very clear that they are walking more fully and honestly and transparently in the way of God than I think most of us believe possible. In BASE, QUEST, and Guys’ Group, I’m given the chance week-in and week-out to catch a glorious – and sometimes sweaty, without-deodorant – whiff of God’s scent through our kids. They don’t pretend to know that much about “God” or “faith” or any of that “religious” stuff. Instead, what they bring to the table time and time again is themselves. These selves are awkward, gossipy, loud, obnoxious, at times frustrating, and always clamoring for attention; but in the same breath, they are radiant, vulnerable, curious, outrageously hilarious kids who come in and let what you see be what you get. They come seeking affirmation, encouragement, purpose, and validation of their worth, and are open enough to let whelps and gleeps like you and me fumble along beside them as they find the God people talk about in the everyday stuff of their school and sports and home and extracurricular lives. Through them, I am learning that peace is not a feeling or an ideology; rather, peace is intended to permeate the very essence of who we are. It is a spirit – the Spirit – that is modeled after Christ: with humility, awkwardness, humanity, and grace. We carry God’s peace with us all the time; I’m thankful that our middle school youth are teaching me that what matters most is our becoming aware of it. From kids with braces and voice cracks and the latest fashion trends or no-no’s, I’m being given an irresistible invitation into the smudged heavens of God’s peace here on earth. It’s always fun to remember that even Jesus endured puberty; even he was once a middle schooler too.

Lift in prayer today
Highland Renaissance Academy,
Covenant’s partner elementary school,
where the majority of students are considered at-risk