My tiny car was stuffed full of teenagers. The car's tail end dragged, and other motorists glared their disapproval. The kids added fuel to the fire as they smashed their noses into the windows and waved at everyone we passed.
"Where's the love?" they complained when they received a scowling glare. Then they giggled, "We're the love! Let's pass it along!"
By the time I reached the other side of town for youth group, my head was pounding. Teenagers climbed over my lap and pushed against my spleen to get out of the car, and I wondered again, What happened?
In the beginning
When my daughter first attended youth group, our ride was quiet. My car felt spacious, and our praise music was tuned to a reasonable level.
Then the youth pastor talked about evangelism. "Invite your friends," he exclaimed.
Sam invited her best friend. She invited her locker buddy. She invited her locker buddy's best friend's sister's cousin.
After one particularly loud ride, I was ready to turn in my taxi-driving keys. When I picked up the girls after their youth group that night, they climbed in but were strangely quiet.
"That was really cool," one finally said.
"Yeah, it really made me think," said another.
What God creates
"What happened?" I asked.
"One of the pastors shared his story tonight, Mom. He made it all seem so real," Sam said.
"Yeah," another girl said. "It was awesome. It made total sense to me, for the first time ever. Do you think I could come with you next week?"
I nodded, suddenly ashamed of my earlier thoughts. "Of course."
Did it really matter if I drove a clown-mobile and my spleen was bruised? In the grand scheme of teens learning about Jesus, those issues took a far backseat.
I dropped the first girl off at her home. "I'll pick you up at 6 next week."
"Thanks," she said. "I'll be ready."