Living the questions and trying to think theologically... and practically. Learning that these things are more synonymous than I once thought.

Location: Dallas, TX

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Baby it WAS Paradise!

Paul Powell chapel is a most reverent place. It sees weddings, multiple preaching and pastor's conference (not to mention the cowboy church conference), chapel choirs, world renowned-organists, prayer services, and the occassional covenant group meeting when all the classrooms are being used. It was the first place I ever heard Kyle's last sermon read by my friends, and it was the first place where I heard Crowder sing "You Make Everything Glorious". You better believe it is indeed holy ground. But until yesterday, it had not seen the joyous celebration and fellowship that only comes by way of a nine-time grammy award winning artist who in his songs and his very being encapsulate everything good about growing up in a youth group. (That maybe pushing it, but just barely.)

In the words of an email from my dear friend Kathleen, "I mean, I don't even need to email and say this b/c it, like the 10 commandments, is written on our hearts. SC squared rocked it hard yesterday. And I believe he had a teensy bit of help from the first two rows on his left. What happened to us? I'd love to talk about it. I tried to articulate last night what happened in that one magic hour yesterday, but to no avail. If you can put it into words please help me out here."

Well Kate, I'm going to try my best. For weeks, we looked with an eager anticipation for March 7. We plotted and planned, made T-shirts, and broke out our greatest hits cd's. We shared our favorite SCC stories and songs. We hoped against all hope that he would sing his "Freebird". He did not disappoint. The room was abuzz with excitement. Everyone pushed towards the front, and no one save the dean and name sake himself ever covets those seats. Of course all of my best friends, except Josh who is way too cool, claimed the front two rows. We jumped to our feet like wide-eyed teenagers, who listened to nothing else but him who was before us.

He started out with a little "Live Out Loud", which is old enough to still be recognizable for us. Then our hope turned into rejoicing. In an instant, we were on our feet. "Started out this morning in the usual way..." It was over. We were screaming the words. I swear I almost cried when we rared back our arms together, punched our hands towards the sky, and shouted with all that was within us, "LET'S GO!"

Basically, we became a youth group in those moments, and it was B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. I'll never forget it. It's funny because while I still love teenagers, I don't really enjoy youth ministry anymore because of moments exactly like this one. However, this is a definite exception. Many of us never knew each other before August of 2003, but that one song coupled with so many other great expereiences, made me feel like we had been friends since Jr. High.

God bless you Steven Curtis Chapman. We may not have bought any of your cd's since Speechless, but your songs will always take us back and unite us.

Okay, now I'll be 26 again.


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