I Went To The Pole… by Julia

September 09 346Yesterday was “See You at the Pole” day at school, a national day that is set aside for young Christian students to gather around their school flag poles and pray. I thought “well it’s just another one of those get-togethers for believers” but I didn’t expect it to be so empowering.

Out of 2500 students at Union High School where I attend, only 30 went to showed up at the pole to express their faith publicly.

The day started with a brilliant sunrise of fiery red and orange with the voices of 30 students and one police officer singing the national anthem. It was beautiful. Our campus police officer, Mr. Reynolds, began to pray.  He prayed for our safety this year and he thanked the Lord for our courage and strength to be there, to show our peers our beliefs. We went around thanking the Lord for so many believers that were there with us. As we prayed, our fellow classmates walked passed us checking us out and whispering in hushed tones as we prayed for their safety and that they would come to know Him. I saw my “good Christian” friends walk past us without slowing, and I wondered why they did not stop, I wondered if they were afraid. But there was one boy who didn’t keep walking, he stepped into our circle around the flag pole and prayed with us, lets call him Tim. It made me want to cry because Tim has come so far to be there that day with us, he has fought an addiction to pot, his parents lack of support, and so much more, and the fact that he would show up and start to pray publicly made me want to cry. His bravery and passion for his faith amazed me; I thanked the Lord for my friend.

Soon after, the special education bus pulled up in front of the flag pole. And one girl about half my height who suffered form Down syndrome asked Mr. Reynolds what we were doing. He replied “we are praying.” She asked him if she could pray too. So Mr. Reynolds took her by the hand and whispered the words to say into her ear. They went something like this, “Thank you Lord that we can be here today, I pray that we are safe, in Jesus’ name, Amen” then the little girl left with her mother. Mr. Reynolds began to sing “Amazing Grace”, and every voice joined in as we praised the Lord for this great life He has given us. We shared scripture as we prayed.

Then one of the boys from my youth group pulled out his guitar and another pulled out a djembe and started to play. We sang “I’ll Stand”, and lifted our hands to the heavens to the Lord. As soon as we finished singing we looked at the clock, it was 7:45, class had already started, but for some reason, no one seemed to care that we were tardy. So off we went to class, amazed by what God had done around that flag pole.

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7 Comments on “I Went To The Pole… by Julia

  1. Julia,

    thank you for showing up at the pole. i am glad to see the next generation embracing prayer. prayer does make a difference and our enemy likes to lure us into believing it doesn’t. so let your heart break for your friends that haven’t found that out yet! keep praying and standing in the gap for them. Maybe some who walked by DO know and were too busy that morning to testify to that fact. who knows. the most important thing i feel…is that YOU were where God called YOU to be…and having a sensitive heart to God’s calling will keep you close to Him! Blessings! Donna

  2. I think your daughter is totally awesome for having it all “figured out”, or at least, partially, at such a young age. As an agnostic, I’m definitely jealous.

  3. Thanks for your comments, thoughts and challenges. Julia is 14 and at a public highschool where she is trying to learn how to live out her faith in an environment that has so many challenges.

    Bottomline, showing up at the poll for Julia wasn’t this grand moment of demonstrating her faith publically. It was something her youth leader suggested, and she simply wanted to pray for her school with other kids. I agree that we need to be careful not to be like the pharisees who wanted others to see them praying publically. Definately the religious heart of the pharisee seeks to seperate and appear more righteous.

    I can see how her comment about “good christians” walking by could be perceived as judgemental. The heart behind that is a kid who has friends who come to church, do churchy things then at school live another life. I think we heard some frustration from a kid who is still trying to figure it all out.

    I do appreciate you commenting when something doesn’t sit well. It makes me think….

  4. I guess I’d be interested to hear if this was a public or private school. If it’s public, 1% would be a HUGE number, considering we (supposedly) have a separation of Church and State here.

  5. I disagree with Amy. I don’t think “good Christians” was used as an admonishment; but a question. I think it’s a valid point. And in actuality; the call to pray is a testimony-which goes along with the scripture to be ready to give an account.
    1 Peter 3:14-16: But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed and do not fear their intimidation and do not be troubled, (15) but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, alway being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; (16) and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.

    The call to the pole is not a daily or weekly activity, hence I do not think it is even close to being like the pharisees that made a point of publicly praying.

    However, my concern with your message Julia was the fact that only 30 out of 2500 people showed up…that is barely 1% of your student population. I thought that was sad.
    But I value your appreciation of those that were there.

    Based on your behavior, would you be convicted as a Christian?

  6. I normally really love this blog, but something about this entry struck a wrong note with me. The sentence passing judgment on those who did not stop, with “good Christians” in quotes seems wrongheaded. Matthew 6:5-6 says

    When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    The Bible commands us, in one of its most well known and oft quotes books to pray where only God can see us. Whether the kids who didn’t stop were afraid or just private about their religion, they shouldn’t be admonished.

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