Today I stood in a McDonalds, waiting on my McLatte, reminded of wonderful breakfast memories I had with a bunch of kids on Wednesday mornings. Of course, we had the awkward silences here and there, the days when taking prayer requests consisted of anatomy projects and English tests. But I adored those mornings, praying for whatever conversation arose.
I distinctly remember one morning; the conversation somehow had come up regarding an article in Relevant magazine, and I’m pretty sure Anna either brought it up or had read it at the same time I did. The article covered pastors who struggled with addictions to pornography.
Note: if Anna was present, this was my first year in the youth director role. Genius material to discuss.
I don’t recall the course of the conversation, but 7:35 quickly approached and it was time to pray out. One of the kids – Scott? Anna? Mary? I wouldn’t put it past any of them – said, “I think we should pray for these pastors.”
And my heart melted a little more for the innocent ones who recognize that all have fallen short, that all struggle, that none can be put upon a pedestal of perfection. Their prayers were authentic. Their prayers didn’t even know the whole story, yet they they wanted, somehow, for God to take action in the hearts of unnamed people.
Today that same former youth called me and we briefly chatted about the fallenness of yet another in the field of ministry. I looked up the reports online and my heart just sank. Disappointment. Grief. Frustration. Emotions on behalf of the young girl and her family. Emotions on behalf of the church family left to wonder. Emotions for this young man who allowed the grip of sin to take control and so many will feel the consequences of it.
I can only hope there’s a small group of high school kids meeting in the morning and the Spirit falls upon them to pray. Not just to point and fault and shame, but to ask God for healing. For everyone.