"It was okay." I'd shrug, even though my traitorous heart swelled and yearned when three hundred voices sang, "Nearer, My God, to Thee," and Dustin's face would collapse with disappointment. During the last altar call, I could feel his hope and excitement overwhelming him. He took my hand and squeezed it hard, and though I could feel his eyes trained on my face I wouldn't look at him. He wanted so badly for me to kneel in front of the stage. He wanted me to cry.
- The Myth of You and Me, Leah Stewart
Does this sound like anyone else's youth? I was definitely Dustin. I would take friends to youth rallies, hoping that the speaker would be able to tell them what I was too scared to. It was SO melodramatic, too. It was life-and-death if I couldn't get my friend to accept Christ THAT night. I would watch them, looking for a sign that they were ready to repent of their sins, to "turn or burn."
While I still believe that a choice to believe in Christ is a life-or-death decision, I also know that these things happen in their own time - God's time - and that I need to be praying for these friends of mine, not just taking them to youth rallies where they can hear a toned-down version of a hellfire and brimstone sermon.