Like a Mustache on a Mammoth

I shared this picture on Facebook this morning – Colosso the elephant with a rather impressive ‘stache.

Now, I have several culprits in mind who would have thought nothing of adding facial hair to this poor critter, especially as several of them were sporting the same adornments as we prepared for Fiesta Playhouse last Sunday.

Perhaps it was the youth with whom I had an entire conversation about where an elephant’s mustache would be if they could grow them. Or the youth who hid in my office closet to scare me. Or the youth who hid, quite cunningly, under my desk for over 15 minutes to scare me a second time. Perhaps it was the youth who spent way too much time arranging colored bracelets on my desk to spell out his name, or the youth who kept asking “What else can we decorate?” while holding scissors, tape and a huge roll of crepe paper.

With so many teenagers in and out of my office on Sunday it was hard to keep track of who was where doing what with who for what reason. I often compare youth ministry to herding cats – very little listening and a whole lot of attitude – and Sunday’s preparations were the perfect example of this. But there among the chaos we got so much done. Lights were strung (and restrung, and restrung several times), tables were decorated, numbered, and set for a meal. Tickets were cut apart, aprons were donned and dinner was served. It was great night, complete with the phenomenal support I’ve come to see as an inherent part of KBC’s DNA.

And somewhere in the craziness a mammoth got a mustache.

Which made me smile this morning when I came into my office. It made me think about the youth who were in and out of this room on Sunday to ask questions, say weird things, and have conversations about elephants and mermaids and  ask why we couldn’t decorate for a Fiesta theme with Hawaiian chotchkies. It reminded me of the young people I have the amazing responsibility and incredible good fortune to be a minister to.

I’ll be first to admit they don’t always make sense. These young people are often silly and sometimes challenging. They can be tough to understand, complicated to reach and just plain exhausting. But they can also be insightful and funny, compassionate and patient, creative and caring.

The youth are the biggest reasons I love this church and why I think #ywlmc, because like a mustache on a mammoth, they make me smile.

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