I love the change I see in the faces of people as they grow in the Lord. I told the ladies the other night that it was better than Oil of Olay. You can visibly see a softness come over the faces and in their voices the more they are in the word. It is transforming.
Last night we had 22 youth for our Wednesday night meeting. I'm not afraid of kids. Kinda like them in fact. That's why I had a few for myself. So it took me a little by surprise when I looked around the circle of almost grown kids; some wearing cowboy attire, some pajama pants, some in school clothes, that I felt a little sense of panic. About 10 or so of them have been coming awhile and you could tell. The others were here for friends, social interaction, to find a date. Or at least that's what they thought. They were really here because God wants to start the facial treatment on yet another group.
Why the panic? Don't ask me. At one point I think that "I'm too old for this" went through my brain. Thinking back, I remember sitting in the Baptist Student Center in Snyder wondering if I would ever be able to have a relationship with these rodeo girls who could pick up a barrel from the arena and toss it over the fence. Rodeo girls don't have a lot in common with former prissy cheerleader girls. When I saw them in their environment I cried just a little. Felt very incapable. Two of those girls eventually accepted Jesus. Along with several of the guys. One of the guys was a golfer from Denmark. I took a group of these kids to a weekend conference at Baylor University. On the way back, Morton the golfer asked in his Danish accent if we could sing the song "I Stand Amazed in the Presence". I fought back tears as I was driving around Waco trying to find the road home at how the Lord had so touched his heart.
Thinking back to Stillwater when at our first gathering with the youth there were a couple of girls that came in with clothes on that wouldn't much cover a swimsuit. That night I cried, wondering if we could ever love them enough to change hearts. Many of the university students I came to love like they belonged to me. We prayed together about future mates, future jobs and wisdom from the Lord. The relationships we made there will last a lifetime because of what God did in the hearts of a lot of students.
Our first Sunday here at Cowboy Church, once again praying in my heart "Father, I don't think I can minister to these women. They have been through so much more than me. I have nothing in common with them." I didn't cry a little. I cried a lot. The Lord spoke to me through Michael. He told me to love them until they learn to love and serve them until they learn to serve. What I found was that there were already a few here doing that. Made it easier for me to step in. So grateful. I wish you could sit where I sit on Monday nights and see the beautiful, sometimes tired, but oh, so beautiful faces of transformed women.
So I know the panic I felt for a bit last night was nothing new for me. Another chapter. Another group desperately needing a makeover from the One Who made them. A personal touch that would soften features, soften hearts. But not just for them. Bring it on Lord Jesus.