I visited Scott and the kids at camp last night, and once again I felt the ache.
First of all, the camp is so great- the energy is high and the kids are high, by Thursday, on what good they've done for the world, and in new relationships with Jesus. They are suddenly fluent about their faith where they might not have had the vocabulary to express it before, or where they might have been unaware of God's love before. The room is full of changed people, people in love- the energy comes from that, and it's palpable. There's something about going away and doing something different, and being surrounded by people who show you that this is possible because of God's love...
I fought off teariness all night- you know crowd happiness makes me cry (remember, I cry at parades and at crowds cheering and at displays of school spirit...) and this room, it was a combination of all three. But it wasn't just that-
You know how women who want babies have that ache when they see babies on the street? I get that ache when I see great Youth Ministry going on. I miss that beautiful honor of accompanying young people on their Emmaus walks- I miss being a witness to the lighting of that spark in their eye. I miss being a matchmaker, introducing kids to the real Love of their life. I miss getting to know the best sides of kids, that they only let show (or only come to realize themselves) when they are away on retreat or at camp. I miss it.
I was introduced to the camp director last night, and Scott told him I'm doing adult ministry now- he asked me if I thought I'd stay there, and I said "I really love my ministry but I think I'll always be a Youth Minister."