A hand fell heavy on my shoulder and I knew I was in trouble.
The thing about a hand on the shoulder: it’s one of those universal signs. When a hand falls on your shoulder, you don’t have to ask whether it’s in friendship.
It was a Wednesday afternoon during my junior year of high school. I was in the youth building at the Southern Baptist church where I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. I was getting ready for our mid-week youth worship gathering. I had some music playing — something upbeat, probably Five Iron Frenzy, and I was walking across the large, open gymnasium, snapping my fingers, bobbing to the beat and probably looking for all the world like a reject from the Jets.
So when this hand fell on my shoulder and I knew I was in trouble, I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why. I was spun around to face the dad of one of the other kids in my youth group. He leaned in close to me and said,
“You’re one of the leaders of this youth group.