Last night, Chris Padgett was speaking on Mary: Behold Your Mother at the monthly LIFT gathering at Fontbonne Academy. An hour away, the event listed as running from 7 PM to 9 PM. It would be a 10 o'clock bedtime on a school night at best. It was completely outside the box of parental reality to ask the girls and some of their friends if they wanted to go. I mentioned that not only will they hear Chris Padgett speak, but there will be rock music and Adoration; maybe Mass. Most replied no, but the little ones and one of their friends said yes.
We got there with a few minutes to spare. The girls were excited. The LIFT band kicked off the event. They are full of worship, but also they are very loud. Incredibly loud. My littlest one mouthed, "Can we stand in the back." I nodded.
And as we walked to the back, who did we stumble across, working on his talk: Chris Padgett. It was a gift. For unlike her sister, the little one had never met Chris. But she has watched his Experience DVD, and music videos and listened to his CDs. So to see him in person, was incredible.
After the warm up we took our seats and listened to Chris talking about how we all have to be like Mary. She shows us the way to embrace her Son. Of course he mixed it up with humor and a certain silliness that the girls will remember forever. For example, "Rosary beads are not for beating your brother. They are not an exercise tool. Maybe you should do something novel with them, like pray." But I think, I hope, they got the bigger take home message.
After the talk, there was Adoration. This is not your grandmother's Adoration. It's worship a la rock. The older girls where up front and fully participating. The little one again asked to go to the back. Where we kneeled down, and she was engaged with the experience. I am so amazed by these kids.
At the end, who should walk by and offer the old lady, me, a hand up, but Chris. We chatted. The other girls met us up back, for we had to go, I had to get the girls home for bed.
Chris had words of thanks for our coming, said he looked forward to seeing us all again in December at our own middle school revolution. He posed for a quick picture with the girls and signed their tshirts. I was hoping the girls would fall asleep on the way home. After all it was after bedtime. No such luck. They were reciting their favorite quips from Chris' talk. Mostly the humorous bits, but occasionally I heard something about Mary.
They want to go back next month. And next time, they want to stay for Mass.