Take Time for Teens

It is interesting how an afternoon hanging out at a picnic table "watching" teens at a local amusement park also can be an opportune time for theological reflection-reflecting on the questions: Why am I here? Where is God here? What is the purpose (if any) spending an afternoon with teenagers at an amusement park during spring break?
I brought my Bible, an art journal, and some basic art supplies and prepared to spend five hours hanging out at a picnic table watching teens run to and fro. With the view before me (photo at right), I reflected on the simple blessing of being with the teens. They had such fun with each other-teens in community; and other adults dropped by to eat lunch and visit. We also had the blessing of another adult swapping her vehicle with mine so that I had more seatbelts and could haul more teens. It was interesting to be able to experience peace, grace, and God's presence in the midst of the chaos of an amusement park during spring break.
I used the altered book technique of selecting key words or phrases along a theme-which here is servant leadership-which prompted the reflection questions mentioned above. Mark the words and phrases lightly with pencil and then use white gesso to cover the rest of the words. I used a Master's Touch #20 round mop brush to "sponge paint" two layers of acrylic glaze. Then I sketched in the scene before me using colored pencils. I wrote my reflections on top with Prismacolor Brush Tip Markers. The interactive process of reflection and art helped to affirm the value-and the blessing-of spending this day with the teens.