Turns out things, people, plants, just grow. I used to believe that you “turn your back, and poof,” but now I am not even sure that you have to turn your back. What has most drawn my attention to this recent revelation is my puppy, Roux. Two months ago she was 8 pounds, and I carried her around in the laundry basket. Today she is 20 pounds, and I suspect before the end of the month, I won’t be able to pick her up.
Although not growing quite as fast as my puppy, the growth rate among the 6th graders I work with is equally stunning. And there not all the growth is physical, some are still the small creatures they were 6 months ago. And it’s not really emotional. The boys, for the most part, still will not hold hands with a girl in the prayer circle. But cognitively, there is the real change. They are thinking about things. Specifically I want them thinking about how they will live our their life, will they be a disciple of Jesus? Several have been ready to make this decision for weeks, a couple for months, and then there are others that are just arriving at that point.
For me, although I do enjoy seeing them grow up and emerge as youth, teenagers with ever increasing responsibilities, it is far more interesting to talk with them about what they believe. To witness their personal wrestling match with eternal questions, and to be able to say, “yes, this is exactly what that decision entails.” It reveals to me that not all growth is visible before our eyes, that some growth is deep within and only makes itself known by our actions.
This is a thin place.