The Game and Good News

I was a freshman in college the first time I remember playing the game. I don't think I had played it again till the summer between my sophomore and junior years, and then I was facilitating it.

"Game" isn't exactly the right term for it, either, although that's how we phrased it. It has different names -- cross the river, cross the line, cross the log (okay, so the last was in a rather rustic setting).

It's a great evangelism tool, and I keep thinking about it this semester. However, it really wouldn't work in every setting. I've only seen it used with people college- and middle/highschool-aged, and only in contexts where there is a chance for real community to grow in safety.

There's an invisible line, river, log, whatever...

Cross the line if --

If your favorite color is red. Blue. Green.

If you like wearing jeans.

If you like waffle cones.

If your family has a dog.

If you have younger siblings.

If you have older siblings.

If you fight with your best friend.

If you have friends who do drugs.

If you have friends who have been pregnant.

If you knew someone who got killed.

If you know people who cut.

If you've talked to someone who was suicidal.

If you've ever been abused. Thought you were worthless. Thought about suicide.

The questions don't have to go exactly that way, but the flow tends to be pretty similar. At first it's a goofy-getting-to-know people game, then the atmosphere changes.

It's always been amazing to me to see who ends up where. To see what happens afterwards. It's not an easy game to participate in, or facilitate, one that you pray the whole time that you won't do anything stupid, that breaking will be healing too.

But it's the level I see real chances for evangelism happening on, too. A lot of deep connections are made on the basis of brokenness.

It keeps happening.

Stories get told, and other stories come.

It's been a very emotional week, says a friend after chapel on Wednesday.


And the emotions run wild -- how do you lose a human? and we're all pulled into knowing how desperately small and fragile we are, how very easily the community we live in gets broken -- and they run deep -- what connects to one of us, seems to connect to all, pulls through all of us -- and they run through years of difference experiences, cutting across all our lives -- and they connect us to each other.

And everything is broken.

But there is good news.


  1. how do people live who don't know the good news? or even that ther *is* good news?

    I know, I know. They don't.


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