by Sarah Carson—

As an “elder Millennial” (that is, a Millennial born between 1980 and 1985), I have mixed feelings about the wave of ’90s nostalgia that is currently hitting popular culture.

As I’m sure was also true for children who grew up in the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s and ’80s, there’s part of me that’s not ready to have my childhood made into a fast fashion fad. I mean, it hasn’t really been that long, has it? It feels like just last week that my biggest concerns were spelling tests and a fourth-grade heartthrob, David.

On the other hand, I do love the easy access to all the best parts of my childhood. Nearly every day I come across a new ’90s television reboot, music playlist or movie to watch with my daughter: Hook, Free Willy, The Mighty Ducks. I’ve also been introducing her to some of the best ’90s music, which is how I rediscovered the song “Counting Blue Cars” by Dishwalla.

“Tell me all your thoughts on God,” the song’s chorus booms over and over. As I sang this again and again to my 4-year-old this past week, I couldn’t help but be reminded of this issue’s themes.

As is Gather magazine’s May tradition, this issue’s devotional contributors consider the gift of intergenerational hospitality and their faith lives. “Tell me all your thoughts on God,” they might as well be singing, as they share the stories they’ve heard from people of all ages and walks of life.

Where better to hear these stories than in acts of service such as, perhaps, a quilting group? In this issue, we also begin our three-part summer Bible study that uses the quilting process as a means to teach us “to appreciate the beautiful and useful ways God is working” in our lives. “Tell me all your thoughts on God,” you may find yourself asking someone new, once you’ve considered the role “patterns” play in our lives and in our worship.

Of course, as a young person growing up in the church in the ’90s, the part of “Counting Blue Cars” that truly intrigued me was the way the chorus changes after a few verses to: “Tell me all your thoughts on God…because I’m on my way to see her.”

To be clear, I’m not saying all the lyrics express sound theology, but to have the God I’d only heard masculine pronouns for in church referred to as “her” was thought-provoking. And isn’t that one of the greatest gifts each generation has to offer another—a new perspective, based on their experiences?

Hannah Hawkinson offers us exactly that in an article (p. 16) about “Audacious faith,” a faith that “isn’t of our own doing, but God’s.” Tuhina Verma Rasche reflects (p. 10) on the emotional toll racism and white guilt have taken on people of color. You might also find a new perspective in Lisa A. Smith’s ponderings about children and church (p. 20).

Tell me all your thoughts on God. What have time and experience taught you about your faith? About your life? What lessons have you learned from your unique experiences that someone else may need to hear?

My hope is that this issue will leave you hungry for conversation—with friends, with strangers and with God.

Sarah Carson is the former managing editor of Gather and lives in Michigan with her family.

This article is from the May/June 2022 issue of Gather magazine. To read more like it, subscribe to Gather.