The best teachers.
not always the easiest lessons.
BLOCK PARTY! – an amazing, huge youth outreach event at church. Over 1000 kids were there.
Our neighbor was supposed to come. It had been a topic of conversation for a few days. Nathan was excited about that. A few hitches in the plan:
- our neighbor didn’t really know anyone going besides Nathan
- the Block Party is big with lots of kids and lots of extreme events
- our neighbor is super shy
As we got ready to leave, Nathan went to get our neighbor, but came back solo.
In the process of finding out if we should wait for our neighbor or not, this happened to Nathan’s iPod.
It fell out of his pocket without his knowing, and he shut the car door on it. The sound still makes me cringe!
To understand the gravity of this, you need to know that Nathan purchased this iPod with his own money. He worked and saved for it over a good chunk of time. I went into immediate prayer mode, thinking we were going to have the longest 30 minute ride to Gardens Campus ever!! WRONG! Instead, God gave me many treasures Friday night & into Saturday!
My first treasure – Nathan’s reaction was a picture of God’s grace at work in his life. He even said, “I can’t believe I’m not mad about this!” I still pinch myself – even as I’m typing! And one of his friends, Luke, encouraged him by saying, “Everything happens for a reason.” That’s really a double treasure. 🙂
My second treasure – seeing boys from our life group, who knew our neighbor was shy and feeling uncomfortable, take him under their wing during a night of fun. Instead of thinking of themselves and just hanging with or finding their own friends, they kept our friend with them – even when he got separated from Nathan at one point.
My third treasure – seeing Nathan bring our neighbor to talk to a student ministries volunteer at the end of the Block Party because he trusted Christ!! And seeing the joy on Nathan’s face as he was part of that. During the invitation, Nathan said, “It wasn’t me. I didn’t have anything to do with it. I was just praying, ‘OK God, here’s where you do your thing’.” He prayed, waited, and watched the Holy Spirit work in his friend’s life to bring him into the Kingdom!
My fifth treasure– seeing the wisdom of my parents being passed on to Nathan as he talked with them on the way to the Apple Store. My mom told him that no matter what happened to his iPod, the treasure of our neighbor’s salvation was eternal. Great lesson for a 13 year old – to begin to see the difference between eternal treasure and temporal treasure.
So – they did replace the iPod, for half the cost of a new one. Nathan’s response – “God answers prayer! We prayed that they’d replace it and they did. We just forgot to pray they’d replace it for free.” My sixth treasure – a life lesson on the importance of praying specifics!
My seventh treasure – the one that gives me goose bumps. No coincidence that it’s #7! 🙂 As Nathan talked with my parents about what happened with replacing the iPod, he realized something. If he had not shut the door on his iPod, we would have pulled out of the driveway without our neighbor. Because as Nathan was taking his shattered iPod into the house, our neighbor and his dad came walking up the sidewalk to ride with us to the Block Party. No messed up iPod, no new brother in Christ! And Nathan made the connection on his own, which is truly a treasure!