This week was tough. Two in one year. And it never gets any easier.
I often talk about the "why" around the office. When we're all exhausted, over-worked with no end in sight... it's the "whys" that keep us there, heart on our sleeve putting one foot, one dollar raised, one program planned in front of the other.
10 years ago I fell in love with ESP in part by one big smile & one word.
As the newbie around ESP, I knew I had a lot to learn and couldn't wait to soak it all In as I gave what I had in return.
Each child at ESP has their own story. And as I see it, their own super powers. There was one guy I was naturally drawn to- 13 years old. One of his powers is his super natural smile- a stop in your tracks kinda smile, that makes your own heart grin. I was told early on that although he used a few selective words at home he had not yet spoken at camp. And with my 18-year-old pride in tow, I was immediately on a mission.
Through bribery of everything Ranch dressing, sodas, high-fives... I worked diligently throughout the summer to try and get this awesome kid to say a word, just one word. Despite my grandiose efforts mid-summer he wasn't budging. But something else was. Something greater. With no words at all, a friendship was being formed. One that was sweet, gentle and fun. I taught him a new song- Tarzan- that became his most demanding request. He taught me the motions to every ESP song. And through the friendship I realized that it wasn't about me, helping him to "communicate" in the way I thought was appropriate. It was about him teaching me to communicate in sincerity and affection.
It was the Wednesday of the very last week of camp. I was putting my friend on the bus, high-fiving him for a mid-week day success. As I turned around and headed away I heard a faint voice. And as I looked back behind me, that supernatural smile was shining bright. The small voice I heard came from my friend... "Bye"
Bryan, one of my Why's- I want to say thank you. For just as the skies speak no words, they paint for us a beautiful picture of Him. You, without words, have announced what His hands have made.
And as you said "bye" to me... 10 long years ago. I say to you, my why, "bye" -- for now. One day we will stand next to you in worship with your supernatural smile and your now supernatural voice- a voice that has been preserved for the One who created it.
"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies announce what his hands have made. Day after day they tell the story; night after night they tell it again. They have no speech or words; they have no voice to be heard. But their message goes out through all the world; their words go everywhere on earth. (Psalms 19:1-3, NCV)