Some youth workers like to hang in the back, or sit with other adults (if they're not on stage) - not Sherri Pat - she was always, and I mean always, right there in the midst of the action with the students. I immediately loved her!
I thought of two things watching her all week WITH the students. The first is that we are never too old to invest in the next generation - it isn't a young person's game my friends. Even David wrote in Psalm 71:18
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
David, even in his older years still was declaring the goodness of God to the next generation - it was his passion, his heartbeat!
But the other thing that stood out about Sherri Pat was how she demonstrated God's withness. After all, his name is Immanuel. And she was never aloof, distant, passive aggressive, stand-offish, too tired or too busy. She was constantly WITH them. The students got the idea of how passionate God was about their journey and their stories and their predicaments by seeing his passion in Sherri Pat. His passion for them just flowed thru her directly to them. She was the conduit for God's heartbeat. Even though she is a little old and a little grey, she was declaring who Jesus really was by how she was listening to them, playing with them, worshipping right alongside of them, praying over them, speaking loving truth to them => Amazing - it was amazing to see!
May we be demonstrators of who God really is - may our lives reflect him and be his conduits - his vessels of love that he flows through, directly to those around us. May we become aware that he is not only WITH us, but demonstrate his WITHNESS to others and especially to those incredible students around us! Amen