Crying Out for Someone

High school student Madeline recounts her experience organizing a study weekend for her GS community. "All I could say was You. Through this experience, I suddenly understood that Christianity is an Event."

I helped plan a GS study vacation in Minnesota with my two friends and my dear friend Fr. Daniele. In these past months of planning every little detail of the weekend, I have grown in awareness of the gift of this friendship within the movement because through this I also encountered many young people in my school who have very little in their lives, and who are alone trying to figure out and fill their voids. In this time, I would look at our video calls to plan the study weekend as a concrete gift of mercy that was given to me. Because these people love me, these are people that I can share my infinite and burning questions with, this is a companionship I can walk with seeking an answer to my biggest question: who am I and who do I belong to? I certainly don't deserve this companionship and am burning with the question of why me and not these kids at my school.

The weekend finally came. It was full of studying, witnesses on school subjects, games, hikes, a movie, an assembly, and a beautiful send-off lunch. On the last day, a couple of the adults and I went up to a log lodge to set up our lunch for the kids. The dining room was magnificent: it was overlooking the hills and trees of Minnesota. This was not just any normal lunch. We planned to host a lunch that was an experience of beauty. We were to have three courses and with every course, we would read a piece of poetry that described the experience of expectation, infinite need, and correspondence. We wanted to show that we are not animals, but that we have these structured needs inside of us that constitute the being of who we really are, and we wanted to reflect on these needs with each course of our lunch. We then set the tables, covered them with white table cloths, big bouquets of flowers, and candles, which ran down the long white table. Classical music played in the background.

I had such an experience of beauty, an experience of correspondence. As I was setting up the table I was thinking about the apostles, and how this is what it must have felt like for them to get ready for Jesus to come to their house. Me setting up this table was exactly what the apostles did two thousand years ago, no difference! It was an experience of expectation, an experience of my being crying out for this Someone; awaiting. And then my friends walked in, and all I could say was You. Through this experience, I suddenly understood that Christianity is an Event. It is an event that happened two thousand years ago in a rugged house in Jerusalem, with twelve men awaiting this man who was the answer to their burning hearts, and now, today, it is still is happening while I set up lunch for my friends.

Madeline, Minnesota, USA