Monday, May 12, 2008

This Love

In a darkened bar, a line of young people wait eagerly around an inflatable kiddie pool. Ranging from probably 16 years old to late 20s, they are all races and backgrounds, both sexes. Some guys have the tight button-down Volcom shirt and shaved head of a dressed-up surfer, some sport the shaggy locks and tight jeans of wanna-be rock stars. The girls are huddled together with towels around their shoulders and grins on their faces, wearing cute tanktops and headbands to hold back their soon-to-be-soaked hair.

The disco balls hanging from the ceiling reflect dim light onto the water and the crowd shifts as we stand and stretch up from our bar stools and couches for a better view. The band starts with an acoustic strum and an invitation from the stage into “new life” – and we watch as smiling people kneel in a tiny pool and are asked a serious, life-changing question: do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and your savior?

We see the steadfastness in their eyes. These are the discounted, a group of MySpacers, college kids and wait staff, members of a lost generation who’ve been romanced by a love that their peers find laughable. They are standing up, so to speak, courageously announcing their change of heart in a dim bar on a Sunday night, going into a few feet of water as a nervous new believer and coming up to the cheers, music and applause of their new-found family.

We can’t wipe the grins off our faces as they come up and are wrapped in warm towels and big hugs. We are singing, clapping, dancing – celebrating a life rescued and a Love found. This is RockHarbor at the Shark Club – where God is found in the unconventional and Church is not a place but a relationship.

Despite the fact that we don’t know their names, we have a community in this rag-tag bunch of believers. It’s not fake or imposed – I don’t have delusions of best-friend-ship with the couple sitting beside us with whom we shared pleasantries – but I got an authentic glimpse at a Love that transcends age and culture and music tastes. A Love that supports even those we don’t know because of the divine romance we find ourselves in.

This Love changes lives. I hear a lot about how scared we should be, how bad everything is, and how the world is going to hell. Maybe so, but I have a feeling that we’re not done here yet. This Love is strong enough even for this generation, and I got to see it first-hand.


Adam said...

Wow, I was there, and it was a super powerful experience, but the way you described it, made it connect with me even more. You're amazing.

Katie said...

I need to hear stories like this one. Thanks for sharing, Dani Lin.