Names on a list – a reflection on the first month at a new church

We’re all finding our way. (This is a youth game of Kaboom!)

Each Monday morning I make a point of pulling up the list of children and youth in our church and praying for each one of them. When I began in my new position on August 1, I wrote this short piece  (not sure if I should call it a poem or a prayer or what) about what it is like to pray for people you don’t yet know. Over the last three  weeks I have gone to youth group, led children’s time and met individually with half of our families. What a gift it is  to watch this list of names come alive.

Today they are only names on a list.
black and white, ink on paper, faceless.
I pray for each, not yet knowing what they might need.
I pray that I might earn their trust and give them space
to be their beautiful selves,
 and maybe even point them toward our loving God.
I look forward to discovering their certain gifts,
and sharing some of mine,
to the first laughs we will share, and even the first tears.
The signs of relationships built on trust and care.
It won’t be long before my heart and mind
 attach faces and colorful memories  to these names on a list.

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