Every other Sunday night, we welcome 11 teenagers into our home for dinner and discipleship class AKA The Furnace.
I feed them dinner, while also feeding Joshua. The teens are great with Joshua, and he thrives in this social, crazy environment. (He's actually more scared of children his own age than of teens. Does this tell us something about who with and where we spend the bulk of our time??) Erik and I entertain, discuss life, ask questions, wipe dirty fingers (Josh's, of course), get refills, grab napkins, prepare Bible study, change diapers (again, Josh's...) ...
It's chaos in real time. It's craziness defined. It's a normal person's vision of ludicrous-ness.
I. Love. It.
I love that we can meld together so many unique personalities and come up with something so beautifully hilarious. These kids bring such joy to my life (and some drama, which is good for me, I guess ...)
I love that Matthew just randomly spouts off an impersonation of Jesus, as he quotes Scripture to the group.
I love that Drew almost physically forces Jose and Wil to publicly give thanks for something Drew had done for them earlier--and somehow gets laughs while doing it.
I love how Jose's face lights up when he shares that his "high" of the week was getting an iPod touch.
I love that, for all of Stephanie's subtle (and not so subtle) sarcasm and her attempts to appear cooly rebellious, she always has her homework done for class and is actually quite responsible. ;)
I love that Wil, in his own quietly funny way, will answer a question with surprising wisdom, but almost always caps it off with "... um ... yeah ......."
I love that my sister Charlene can hold her own with a group she's not with very often, and actual shows some surprising wit. She gets it all from me, of course.
I love that Casey, a superb student, read the wrong book (Luke instead of James) but instead of being mortified or defensive, she just uses every opportunity to remind us of how much Luke has to offer ... When we talked about how James writes that Satan is the tempter, not God, she interjects that Satan tempts Jesus ... in Luke. On other topics, she'd say ... "It says that too ... in Luke." and to top it all off, she actually tried to convince us to assign Luke for next time ... "Can we read Luke for next time?", she suggests, with a sly smile. Casey Casey Casey --you sure make me smile.
I love that Mackey, for as quiet as she can be, is actually quite goofy and random. Sometimes others might forget she's there, so quiet is she on the couch taking everything in. But I never forget ... and when I'm able to draw her out, her quirky nature and good hearted humor lift my spirits.
I love that Bethany isn't scared to question status quo, and often speaks up with a depth that still surprises me ... always good for thought provoking moments that one is.
What would I do without these teens, who challenge me to know my stuff, walk my talk, and remember to live a little in this life? What a blessing to welcome this group, and others, into my life, and into my home for the time being. I pray this is something I'm always able to do, no matter where life may take me.