A simple white robe. Wavy brown hair. A stoic yet kind facial expression. These are the characteristics I and my few classmates at parochial school grew accustomed to. Jesus as 1) a man who 2) calms seas and walks on water and 3) is symbolized as a shepherd taking care of His sheep. From kindergarten through eighth grade, I was surrounded by teachers whose lessons promoted keeping Jesus in mind. Remember WWJD bracelets? I accumulated my fair share of those.
By the time eighth grade graduation rolled around, I was eager to leave the environment I had grown to consider sheltered and overbearing. Near perfect church attendance was required and dutifully recorded, as were reports on each sermon. The repertoire of choir songs was limited, as was that of cheerleading chants. Everyone knew everyone (and their parents, and their grandparents) due to the intimate size of the school and associated church. If a student stepped out of line, he or she was stigmatized for years. It was nerve-racking…
If you would like to read Lauryn’s full story, please click here for information on how to do so.
Notes from Alice: Who doesn’t have memories of childhood, high school and college education? If your experience was void of Jesus, or you had too much Jesus, write about it. Did you attend a large university or a small, religious school? What influenced you to be a good Muslim, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist or Christian? What temptations kept you from being good?
It makes me furious to see and hear TV reports about college kids on spring break. Not all of them are on beaches in Florida or Texas. Thousands volunteer to help those less fortunate or intern at nonprofit community agencies, while many others go home to make a few extra bucks and hang out with family. Without a doubt, I see former students in church during spring break.
Let me capture your stories for a book, “What’s New With College Students and Jesus.” College grads, your stories will spice up my book, too! Your perspective of then and now will bring hope and clarity to my readers.
So, invite Jesus for coffee (I recommend reading David Wilke’s “Coffee with Jesus,” InterVarsity Press, 2013), then start writing or arrange an interview with me. Both will bring you a step closer to submitting your story. View the Invitation page.