Yesterday (June 8) 350+ middle school students and their leaders pulled into a beautiful and sacred space known as Michindoh, located in the mitten state, specifically the lower mid-palm region. It would be cooler to say “in the thumb” or “on the ring finger.” But we are where we are, which is the lower mid-palm region. I would argue that in real life, the lower mid-palm region is where it’s at.
So what if it can’t point, can’t oppose, can’t wear a ring, can’t snap, can’t tap, or any of those other things that fingers and thumbs do.
Without the lower mid-palm region providing a place from which fingers and thumbs can do their business by connecting them to the arm to the shoulder to the body to the brain that tells them what to do, fingers and thumbs would be entirely pointless, really.
Michindoh – like every other camp run by God-loving Jesus-following folk – is nothing more than a place from which those who are the hands and feet (or fingers and thumbs) of Jesus can do their business, which is loving God and following Jesus among (in this case) middle schoolers and teen moms in the hopes that they see something about the Christian life that is so utterly attractive, appealing, and sweet they can’t help but notice.
If it were by our own power that God-loving and Jesus-following folk hoped to reflect an utterly attractive, appealing, and sweet life with Christ, all would be lost (which, in fact, is exactly what all God-loving and Jesus-following folk once were). For there is nothing about the inherent essence of anyone that could ever possibly accomplish such a thing. On our own, we are appalling, repellant, and (I suspect) as far from being a sweet aroma as the east is from the west.
But with the Spirit’s presence drenching our souls in His love, grace, forgiveness, and re-creation, suddenly (miraculously, undeservedly, assuredly) the beautifully attractive, appealing, and sweet Jesus can shine through – even if just a tiny bit – into a world that is far too dark and much too broken.
That’s why we are here, joyfully settled into this lower mid-palm region of the kingdom, working together to be the fingers and thumbs of a hand that will (by God’s grace) point people to the face and feet of Jesus. Should they choose to look, in His face they will see his endless love for them reflected in His eyes. Should they embrace that love, at His feet they will fall in sweet surrender to the God-man who gave up everything in order to give new life.
I cannot image being any other place doing any other thing for any other reason – being in the lower mid-palm region of the hand of Jesus is really that big of a deal.