Wednesday, August 26, 2015

For One

Reminiscing from Redwood Creek Summer Camp 2015

It took one small face. And then everything made sense…

His name is Bryce*. Almost from day one, he caught Joshua´s attention. “There´s something about that kid,” Josh told me, “He reminds me of me when I was that age…kind of troubled and yet there´s a spark inside of him.” Over the course of the week, Bryce´s reserved yet eager spirit had won my heart too.

Friday night comes. Most everyone has dispersed from the campfire area into the darkness. Bryce stays behind with head lowered. Thin shoulders heave slightly with emotion. His counselor, Leif, sits protectively close, visibly compassionate. Live embers still glow and spark in the fire area.

Josh and I linger nearby. I know Joshua longs to rush to him, but he considers for a moment. I am touched to the core by the small tearful figure. 

Joshua makes his way towards the two on the bench. From a distance I overhear snatches of an exchange among the three boys who all know more than a thing or two about hard things in life—Leif on one side, Josh on the other, both turned toward their younger brother who is hurting. I hear Bryce say “don´t have any parents” and “don´t ever want to leave camp.” They talk in quiet voices. I hear words of strength and comfort.

“Can we pray together?” Leif asks Bryce. The earnest young eyes shine as he eagerly nods. How I wish we could take him home!

The scene is embedded upon my soul. Everything makes sense now. He is the reason. Bryce is the reason. His young face makes every hour in board meeting, every minute spent on grant applications, every early morning at camp, all the rushing back and forth to the rappelling rock, every prayer offered in preparation for camp…all of it…he gives it purpose! He´s the reason why! He makes everything worth it a million times over!

Yes, every camper is equally amazing and important but with unexpected passion I realize we did everything for Bryce. He is enough. Without second thought, I´d do it all again…I´d do more…just for him. I´d heard our girls´ director say several times that we would do it all for just one camper, but now it clicks. I´d do it again…just for Bryce.

I look skyward, stars visible through the encircling trees. Leif and Bryce have gone to bed. Josh sits a few feet away deep in his own emotion. I can´t stop the tears that keep welling up in my eyes because…

God would do it all again. The cold nights, the days with little food, the profound exhaustion, the friends who betrayed, the death sentence, the Father´s face stolen away. God sees my tear-stained face, forlorn and needing a home…and He´d do it all again…just for me. I am enough. I make it worth it.   

 *Name changed

Sunday, August 9, 2015


The green is more brilliant today. The sky is more strikingly blue. This is the clearest it´s been since the fires started over a week ago. The smoke has dissipated and the vibrancy of color returns. I´d almost forgotten what normal was.

I contemplate a comparison between the clearing atmosphere and the moment when we´ll at last see our God face to face rather than “through a glass dimly.”

We've almost forgotten what normal was. We hear only distant rumors of how life was before the haze of sin hid our Father´s countenance and sucked color from our vision. Were we indeed destined for evening walks with our Creator God?

When time brings restoration, a vaguely familiar face will appear—the Holy One who is Love, in full and glorious color. A hidden spring will flood my heart with recognition…this is the face we once knew. This is the original spectrum of color unveiled. Our souls will eagerly drink in the sight…because we´d almost forgotten what normal was.