Looking for Reserve Disciples
Lehigh Valley Christian School: I won’t forget it. Lehigh was added onto our trip at the last possible moment. The team was under the impression that we were almost home when we realized we had another week to go. We were so tired we couldn’t see straight, and the thought of another week of ‘people’ was almost more than we could handle. (“Come on, Daniel. Can’t we stop being decent human beings for one day? Aren’t there some reserve disciples somewhere?”) But, as soon as we walked into the school our focus and our minds were surprisingly refreshed.
The school administrators were so enthused that we were there, that it was impossible to be anything but excited to be with them. That night we went home with Jim: a bouncy white-haired man in his sixties, who was happy to have us. He brought us there where his wife, Ruth, eagerly greeted us with open arms. The warm fire and the couple’s hysterical stories melted the chill of fatigue as we sat around the dinner table. The next morning we awoke encouraged, and excited to present.
The students responded to us almost immediately. They crowded around at the lunch tables, telling us anything interesting they could think of. In the classrooms they shared their opinions and their stories. In the session, they attempted, with much enthusiasm, to defend their faith from the skepticism of ‘Professor Socrates.’ The students were sincere and honest. They liked us. We liked them. We were able to go to the girl’s soccer game and the boy’s baseball game. At the baseball game I sat by two girls in the school who shared with me the struggles that they were facing in their everyday lives. Heather, Joanne (not their real names), and I had a long conversation about wisdom in dating relationships and hardships within our families. We were able to share and pray with each other. The transparency of the school as a whole was extremely encouraging to witness. Before we left, the school took up a love offering for Axis. They gave over one thousand dollars and although we started out tired and uninspired, we left the school rejuvenated and touched by the students and faculty’s zeal for truth.
Jim and Ruth were more than happy to let us stay with them for the rest of the week. Their daughter, Meg and her husband John brought their two kids over, along with a couple friends. We decided to play a game and before long we all wound-up wrapped in blankets and squeezed around the fire like a bunch of sardines, shouting out our answers and laughing hysterically. We spent several hours sitting around the fireplace over the weekend. Jim and Ruth treated us like we were their kids. They told us story after story of their life adventures, and gave us some wisdom to take with us on the road.
It never ceases to amaze me that God allows us to feel aches of emptiness, soreness, and fatigue so that the balm of his patience, kindness, and truth are so much sweeter. Thankfully, he didn’t call in the reserves.