Sunday, July 17, 2011
For 21 years.
In 1998 when I was a senior in high school--I met a boy here--and I liked him. I would walk beside him and hold my hand down in hopes he would hold it, and he did.
In 2005 I married that boy. My husband who I met at camp. The place that was so important to me and here are a few things that stand out most about that day--other than getting married, of course. 1. My veil got trapped in the door. That music was running out and people were looking around nervously. 2. I told Ben I felt like I was going to vom and he looked at me and said, "it's not the time nor the place." 3. Serving my camp friends communion brought me to tears. I'm an awkward laugher--meaning when I'm awkward, I laugh. I laughed a majority of our service (other than the puking thing) and when I was brought to tears by serving them.
This camp isn't about the people who are here right now. It isn't about this specific place--though it is holy ground. This is an amazing place. When you meet people at camp you are meeting them on a different level. Camp friends are forever friends. They're just different. It would be easy to stay here. It's easy to be good. It's easy to see God in one another. It's easy to have fun.
Then I read Jeremiah 29:10-23. Usually, people read 11. You know the one where they talk about giving you hope and a future. It's all about how God has plans for you. I think that seems intangible--especially when people are leaving. This also includes being sent out into exile. Which for a lot of those kids it feels like. They are being sent back home to a place where they don't feel known, where they have parents who don't love them as much as I love them, where they are peer pressured, where it's hard to make the right choice, where it's simply hard--but they are being sent there. They will be called back. They always have a place--but God is present even in the exile--especially with the exiled.
That place is holy. That place is where I grew up. That place is where I spent the entire summer before I got married. That place is where a majority of my best friends have come from. That place is beautiful and hot as blazes in the summer. That place is where kids go to just be themselves--or maybe someone else for a change.