I had a good time at WOW. Much of it involved chasing teenagers down and making sure they went the places they were supposed to go and didn't go places they weren't. of course I had next to no sleep because they put us in an unheated chapel where I took up residence on a narrow wooden pew with my sleeping bag and listened to girls whisper all night. My back is killing me and I'm not moving much this evening.
We only had one scary moment in which Joseph, my twelve year old, got separated from the group. The older kids didn't notice until I asked about him (they were on the "buddy system" and were supposed to be looking out for one another). When he didn't show up at the designated meeting place at dinner, we split up and searched for a while, but I rounded them back up and sent them on to dinner, then looked for him by myself. Keep in mind there were over 2000 people there. After another thirty minutes or so, I begin to panic--just a little--I knew he was probably there--but it grew harder to maintain a normal heart rate and not imagine the worst.
Finally I contacted security and five people on the staff helped me look for him. The head of their team and I searched the "inflatables" area together, looking through tunnels and into bouncy castles. We'd just about given up when I spotted a familiar red head popping out of a tunnel, pulling his hoodie over his head. I ran across the room and snagged him from behind (essentially scruffing him like every mother animal in the world) and spun him around.
"I've been looking all over for you!" he said, blue eyes wide with surprise (and guilt). "I thought I saw Daniel in there!"
I couldn't quite decide which instinct to respond to, so I responded to them all: hugged him, chewed him out, cried a little and chewed him out some more. When he realized how much he'd scared me, he cried too (which really embarrassed him). He insisted that he had been at the meeting place early, got tired of waiting and went to dinner by himself then came back and looked for us. He apologized numerous times and made a point of staying with the group after that. Lesson learned.
I was part of a terrific corporate worship time this morning, something I've missed since we've begun attending the local Methodist church (very structured, very "high church" group). But good music, uninterrupted time to talk to God, and a minister with something relevant to say made all the difference. I miss this in my weekly worship services.
Let me see if I can put a spiritual experience into words that don't sound hysterically emotional. I'll probably miss the mark, but since this is an emotional experience, it's difficult to do otherwise.
For the first time in a long time, I raised my hands in prayer (Methodists at our church don't do this much), felt God's presence, and an overwhelming feeling of connection with everything and everyone that God's given me to care about. A deep gratefulness for my life as it is, and for my relationship with Christ and his sacrifice washed over me. If you think of it as the air parting on like a curtain on a spectrum of colors which surround you every day and actually feeling how they fade from one to the next without a break, then allow yourself to celebrate the beauty of it, then maybe this will make sense to you.
More on this another time.
I still haven't heard from the second agency. This isn't good (they respond quickly if they like the work). More queries will go out on Tuesday or Wednesday by snail mail.
(Shouldn't post when tired--this has been edited heavily after a good night's rest)