There are a few Christian songs that hit me, most unexpectedly, whenever I hear them included in a mass. One song, “Mighty to Save” is probably the one that evokes the most emotion from me, for some unknown reason. So Saturday night, as the congregation around me, began to sing this wonderful proclamation of love and faith, I found myself fighting-with my eyes, to keep the water, contained therein, from falling down my cheeks…
Well, everyone needs compassion
A love that’s never failing
But let mercy fall on me
Well everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations
He can move the mountains
My God is Mighty to save
He is Mighty to save
Author of salvation
He rose and conquered the grave
Jesus conquered the grave
So take me as You find me
All my fears and failures
And fill my life again
I give my life to follow
Everything I believe in
And now I surrender
You see over that past week, my doll participated in the Yes Project, a non profit, faith in action event, which is only open to a limited number of high school students throughout the area (she was blessed to have been chosen). Packed into the three day event, their primary goal and purpose was to “serve the people of Northwest Ohio, no matter what religious background they come from. A secondary goal is to foster the change in the hearts and minds of young people through their encounters with people in need and situations that they may have never seen.
So, as I sat there in the church, hearing the lyrics, “Well everyone needs compassion…” I began to fight back the urge to cry. Just watching as she entered the church, I could see from her demeanor, she had experienced something profound and I eagerly waited to hear all about her three days of hard work, service and new found friendships.
Following the mass and a brief slide show recounting the projects completed afterwards, our doll approached her parents and gave her father a great big hug and then me, before we retrieved her overnight gear from the main gym. As she handed me her gear, she stopped, walked over to another group of girls and gave out more hugs. Then I watched as she gave her cell number to another girl, before coming back to me. “Sorry mom,” She said, taking back some of her gear. “No worries doll,” I replied, happy she had made such good friends in so short a time. “Are you interested in doing this again next year?” I asked. “Yes, and I’m bringing my cousins too!” She said emphatically.
Later, after she’d been home for a while, she opened up about her experiences, talking a mile a minute about all the people she’d met and encountered, the appreciative behavior from those who received their help, along with the realization of how poor some people really are. “Mom are you aware there are some adults who can’t read? We worked at a housing development sponsored by the Catholic diocese, where they offer GED classes. I thought all adults knew how to read. It’s really sad that they can’t.” She said. “I also wasn’t aware of how much gang activity there is in our city…” She lamented after recalling a story about a family gunned down, simply because the husband and wife came from different gang affiliations.
“How does this make you feel?” I asked. She thought for a moment and then said, “I am so blessed. I mean, I already knew I was, but, now I know because I’ve seen what hardships really looks like,” She said, then added, “This experience has given me an entirely new and different perspective on the world. I’m so thankful for having had this experience and I can’t wait until next year,” she added with a smile.
As the evening drew to a close, she asked me to pull up a song/video on YouTube, by the Christian singer Britt Nichole called “Be The Change”
. “This was our theme song all week and I’m going to try and carry this theme with me from here on out,” She said. “Great!” I thought as the song played, “Now I’ll have another song to entice my eyes to leak”.
Thank you YES Project! We are so very proud of our doll and her growth through service and being the change in other’s lives.
PS. Sunday night she told me, a junior crew leader, during affirmations; called her a “silent leader”–in that if she saw something or someone in need of help, she just took charge and helped out–without asking if this is what she should do. How did that make you feel?” I asked and she laughed, “That’s just who I am…” She replied and I smiled. “Not a bad trait to have,” I offered and she modestly nodded. Meanwhile, though invisible to her, but emphatic to myself, I vigorously nodded my head in agreement.
YES “VERY PROUD” indeed.