Come To the Table
Sunday, March 20, 2022
This weekend a team member is having the kids from here at NorthGate church do a flag dance called "Come to the Table" by Sidewalk Prophets. The concept of this song reminded me a lot of when I first joined the KidzAblaze team.
Before KidzAblaze, I didn't have many friends. The only one who actually called me friend was a pen pal. But sometimes you just want in-person connections, to sit at a physical table. But friend-wise, just as in my basketball teams and homeschool co-ops, it seemed I was sitting alone at my own table.
My parents tried giving me new opportunities, and I pretty much flunked them all. Being shy doesn't exactly help! Even then, they kept on trying to help me find people who I could actually click with. And soon enough, they mentioned KidzAblaze. Why not?
I'd start over. Meet others my age who were new, scared, and didn't know anybody else there. Make awesome friends who actually loved God. Fit in at their table.
Experiences When we got there, I remember seeing the people at the registration table drinking Starbucks, talking and laughing. Wow. They were cool. Pastor Randy came over, said hi, and told me the girls were sleeping in the church sanctuary. My dad helped me set my cot and bag by the left wall, then went to the parent meeting. I was all alone. Eek. I think we started pretty quickly after that, but while I was waiting, I sat pasted to the wall, basically hiding from the 30-40 other team members. So much for starting over! Instead of introducing myself, I became the ultimate wallflower. Almost literally. We then started games. I mostly remembered twins getting up on the stage and introducing themselves. It felt very official, which was kind of cool, but also super scary.
The People I Met I remember a little bit of what I thought about everyone. At one point I was sitting by myself on a row of chairs, when an older girl with black hair came up to me. She talked to me, and at the end she encouraged me to try taking a personality test, saying it had helped her when she was super shy. Since she was now such a big part of the team, it encouraged me that maybe I would later have a part in the team too. And then I remember seeing certain people who I just wanted to meet. It's funny, as far as I remember, all those people are still on the team. But Pastor Randy made the hugest difference of all for me on the trip. For example, on the bus ride back from showers that Saturday afternoon, he asked me what I liked to do. When I mentioned piano, he told me to try out for the worship team. And then another time, when I stood outside a circle of girls listening, Pastor Randy comes up and says, "Hey! Did you get to know any of these girls yet?" (I hadn't). I tried to find words to say, and then stuttered, "Yeah, I met some of them..." but said it in a very unconvincing way. Nevertheless, him talking to me personally, and taking time to get to know me was insane to me. He does that for everyone on the team. The Best Table of All The rest of the trip is kind of vague, but one thing I do really remember was the worship night, especially when Pastor Randy called up anyone who wanted to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I had received it already about a year and a half ago, so I didn't go up. Despite being filled, however, I rarely used my prayer language. But then Pastor Randy told all the rest of the members to come and pray over those who had come up. This was very new to me. Before that, I don't think I ever really prayed over anyone in tongues while laying hands on them. I just saw that type of thing at church. But when we started praying, something inside me clicked. My prayer language poured out of me, and I rocked back and forth. I could feel God's presence there. It was one of the most amazing things ever! All of the sudden the Holy Spirit that I had let be so quiet burst out, and I was no longer afraid. There was no fear here. Yeah, I was going to stay on this team. I think I had found my table. Where's your table?