I don't cry at the normal things during worship. Baptisms, hymns, prayers or inspiring sermons can all be very moving, don't get me wrong, but I just don't cry.
In worship on 11/18/12, however, the tears were streaming down my face. The band played a song at the end of the service that the youth had really enjoyed from their retreat the week prior. Several members of the youth group gathered together near the front to sing the song and do the hand motions. They were so excited, and I could feel their energy and enthusiasm.
But the thing that made me cry was this... I had the perfect view of an elementary school aged boy in front of me. He watched the youth at first, then he joined in the hand motions, never taking his eyes off the teenagers. He was across the room, and he was praising Jesus with all his might. A weird thing to cry about? Maybe. But the action didn't bring tears as much as what seeing it made me realize.We are shaped by our experiences, and generally we are influenced by the people with whom we surround ourselves. As a parent, it is very scary to know that you can't protect your child from this world forever. However, we all can be shaped by positive experiences just as easily as we can be by negative ones.
Seeing the immediate influence of those teenagers on a younger boy that morning was such an awesome reminder of the power of the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is open our eyes to the things around us and we can see faithfulness in action. But when you start looking for it, be sure to have a Kleenex handy.