Thirty-five. Within shouting distance of 40. ...so why do I still feel like I'm 26-28 in my heart, but I've got the wisdom and maturity of someone my biological age?
Last night The 706 was...amazing. First off, we had a major kick-arse concert by Matt Papa, dovetailing into the end of a three-week study Bryan Rose was doing on worship for the kids.
The evening started with me almost wrecking my car while driving to Compass, because I was just so...captivated...by the sight of the full moon shining so brightly that clouds did not dare try to come near it. The night sky didn't look real; it looked to perfect for this world, like I expected it to be some kinda funky CGI thing and that I was driving into a blue screen.
It continued with me sitting back and just watching a number of the kids just worship God, feeling His presence settling in on them, and being moved by the Spirit. Not being ashamed or self-conscious, but allowing themselves to celebrate a series of heartbeats, that moment where just they and He connected, where the rest of the world dropped away and it's just the two of them, together as Father and child, with nothing else or no one else mattering at that moment.
It ended with my best friend -- Ashley -- bringing out a birthday cake that would have made JRR Tolkien smile: a chocolate cake with yellow icing, designed to look like The One Ring, with -- no kidding -- the actual authentic script written on the cake. I'm just big enough of a dork to have been able to read it and know that she did a great job of translating it into chocolate
It ended with love. I cried. Sitting there, against the back wall of the theater, watching those kids...I cried. There have been no less than about five times in the last month to six weeks where I have just sat and cried tears of joy over something beautiful that God has hit me between the eyes with -- be it reading a passage in a book (CURSE YOU, DONALD MILLER! YOU MAKE ME EMOTIONAL!!!), looking at the sky, or just seeing those kids last night, and feeling so blessed that I have been there with them on part of their journey...not a feeling out of pride, but almost back-crushing humility, knowing that God is using me -- the flawed, faulty, scarred and scared dirty little vessel that I am.
Oh -- and the fact that I'm over twice the age of these kids? Don't really give a crap. To me, I'm just a big kid at heart, anyway.
Today, on my actual "real" birthday, I'll probably get lots of phone calls and emails from friends wishing me well, but last night?
Last night I got to celebrate with my family.
It was something I'll never forget. -- unless my memory starts to fade, because I *am* getting older, y'know. :)