5c1bbed6db895498c477f846e426ad97“May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” – Matthew 6:10 (NLT)

So my friend from way back in college called me and asked if I would come be the speaker for his church’s junior high camp. You should know this about me-I don’t do junior high. When I was in junior high, I didn’t like it. I tried to spend time with junior high kids, but was exasperated. I don’t do junior high.

But it seemed that now was the time for second chances.

I accepted the offer anticipating that God would help me bear the weight of speaking to these junior high kids. I had a few months to think about it and sweat it out. I knew that I would need lots of His assistance on this adventure so my prayer was that God would work through me to affect these kids in a positive way. God, as He does, came through. I don’t know about you, but when I was in junior high I could have used a few kind words from my fellow anxious and awkward peers. What would it be like if these pre-teens could say thoughtful and delightful things to each other?

So, with God’s help, I came up with a plan. I made cards that showcased a picture of a cat in sunglasses. (Because what could be more disarming than a cat with glasses?) I had the name of every placed on a different card. Everyone then randomly received a card with someone else’s name on it at the beginning of the day. They might know them, they may not. Their task would be to observe and write down three ways that they saw the goodness of God in the person they were observing. At our last session together, everyone would deliver the cards to the person they wrote wonderful things about and watch them read the words that were written. Oh, there would be like 103 of them exchanging words of life. It’ll work, right? Junior high kids can do this right? My friend reassured me that they could. So, we did it.

And it was beautiful.

Every single kid there wrote down something kind and amazing about the person they randomly received. Watching those kids excitedly receive their cards was miraculous. Life was breathed into their souls. Joy reigned over all. As I watched, I thought to myself, “This must be like heaven.”

Jesus once taught His disciples how to pray. In the midst of that teaching He uttered the words, “May you will be done on earth,as it is in heaven.” That day, I think I really saw a bit of what Jesus was teaching. Heaven on earth. What a marvelous experience to be a part of. There are times in life where I am just amazed that I get to be in the midst of some extraordinary happening. I don’t know about you, but I wanna see more of heaven on earth. Even if it is with junior highers.

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