Imagine it. 15,000 people standing on cold, wet blacktop for 3 hours, hoping for a chance to find a seat at a sold-out Christian Concert. Welcome to Winter Jam. The serpentine walkways, marked with yellow streamers, were packed full of the worst kind of kids- bored.
It wasn’t long until someone conjured up an entertaining idea. The next thing I know, I’m getting hit with a marshmallow from who-knows-where with the word “Jesus” written on it. There’s nothing to figure out here. There’s no deeper meaning. No rhyme. No Reason. God was not trying to tell me something. There’s just bored kids with a bag of marshmallows and a permanent marker.
I looked up to see the source of the sticky projectile, but instead found out that there were more marshmallows to come… a lot more. Before long, the crowd looked like the base of skillet roasting popcorn. It was a chaotic marshmallow explosion.
Our kids wouldn’t get involved in that kind of behavior, right? Of course not… To be fair, they were engaged in combat first and needed to defend themselves. One unfortunate foe had dyed blonde hair that made Ronald McDonald look like a clown amateur. What a target. There was no hope for him. As the battle ensued and many a cold, wet marshmallow was directed at McHair’s head, a voice from an older gentleman next to us rang out, “Hey!”
That voice was directed at us. This is where one would expect the fun to stop. Our kids froze. They looked at him and watched in utter amazement as he said, “Hit someone for me,” and tossed us a wet Jesus marshmallow.
Right on. Engage.
There wasn’t a single person drawing back to let loose a marshmallow who failed to ask him or herself, “should I be doing this?” Ultimately, the marshmallows flew. Wonderfully, no one got upset. Don’t get me wrong, they could have. They certainly had reason to. The sticky nasty grimy rockets-of-marsh could have gotten on clothes and most certainly did get in hair.
Instead of choosing anger, everyone took the opportunity to have fun. Relationships were built. One older gentleman become a joyous memory in our minds the moment, “Hit someone for me” escaped his lips.
It reminded me of our church. Gracious, wonderful people who who would overlook a mess if only to get a chance to know someone… if only to get a chance to “engage” the people around them. I celebrate that with this story.
I am thankful for the many times when we choose to reflect a God who has plenty of reason to be angry with us, but has chosen to desire a relationship first.