We had just spent the last 3 hours jumping on the trampoline, piling in the car trying to find some food place that we could all agree on that was open after midnight, and laughing over hilarious YouTube videos.
We talked about Prom coming up, Young Life camp, random things people are tweeting and had races on the scooter chair.
It was well past 2 am when I had the idea to start a fire in the fireplace. The lights were dimmed and the marshmallows were unwrapped. We sat listening to the cracking of the fire when a sweet voice broke the stillness.
"Why do bad things happen?"
The question wasn't a shocking one. We, as imperfect people, wrestle with this one quite often. But the thought process behind the question needed to be addressed. "Why do good things happen?" I responded.
This led into a thousand other questions and statements:
"I wish my parents were still together."
"When do you feel most insecure?"
"You guys are my only friends."
"I never thought my mom and dad would split up."
"What do you think about ..."
"Life is really hard."
"Seriously, nobody talks to me at school."
After about an hour or so talking in the dark with the light of the fire illuminating our faces we quieted down.
Another sweet voice broke the silence.
"I love when you ask me questions Allie. This is always my favorite part of the night."
With all these questions and thoughts swirling around all I could hear them say was, "know me."
Do you see me? Are you listening to me? Hear me!
This is what I love about Young Life because, as leaders, we are given the opportunity to respond to those questions with a huge, YES. Jesus sees you. Jesus knows you. He is listening. He hears you.
I am so humbled that I get to share this Truth with my high school friends. What a blessed truth.
You are known. You are loved. You are seen.
-Allie Cook, CHS Leader