by Alison Sink
Revelation 21: 1-3
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. 2 And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
“See, the home[a] of God is among mortals.
He will dwell[b] with them;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them and be their God
The first weeks of the summer season are often a whirlwind of making sure that we all know what we’re doing and where we’re going. Seeing in our first groups is exciting, all these smiling faces that are here to learn and grow and serve. As we embark on this summer of service, we are unpacking the ideas of what it means to usher in the Kingdom of God. During my time in different agencies in the Asheville area I have had lots of little moments in which I have seen the creation of the Kingdom in this present day and age. When I think back to some of these experiences, one in particular comes to mind.
I’m standing in the A Hope Day Center and a man walks up to me and introduces himself as St. Timothy. We sit and chat for a few moments and then he pauses and stares deeply into my eyes. It was one of those moments that I knew I needed to pay close attention because something profound was about to happen. Still staring deeply into my eyes he asks, “Do you see God in my eyes?” “And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…” Yes, yes, a thousand times yes, I did see God in his eyes.
I saw this child of God, who more often than not was likely pushed aside, ignored, yelled at, treated as less than by those he encounters. This child of God who simply yearned to be seen. What could a new heaven and a new earth look like if we saw it from the perspective of this particular child of God?
Our theme at Youth Mission Co for the summer is “From Kingdom to Kindom” and I think that part of creating the Kindom of God in the here and now is listening to and leaning into moments like this one with St. Timothy. It is seeing God in the eyes of each person and each encounter that we have.
There are lots of moments during the summers at AYM that I consider to be “Kindom” moments. This moment with St. Timothy is one example, but there are lots of other little ones as well. Little moments of sharing a popsicle, or a smile, or a conversation. Moments of reassuring someone that they are seen, heard, and known.
As we continue on through our summer season, I am going to continue to look for these kingdom moments and lean into the brokenness that we encounter on a daily basis. Each and every week I want to look and make sure that I am seeing God in the eyes of each and every person I interact with.
Alison Sink is from Taylorsville, NC. She is a graduate of UNC Asheville and will begin a masters degree this fall with the Center for Youth Ministry Training