Sometimes you can’t see the beauty of camp until it has been going on quietly around you for a number of years. Ministry can be big and loud and brash and beautiful, like that angry kid who falls on his face before God during the last day of camp. But much of what occurs is done with a quiet power in the background where only a few get to see.
Such is my story for today. The quiet ministry of connections. A few years ago Scruffy was at a loss. He had 16 girl campers at the Sr. High Teen camp and only one solitary girl counselor. And so he took over my parenting duties for the week and sent me off to camp to be a counselor for the first time in ten years. It was a terrifying and marvelous week and I still have contact with those eight wonderful girls.
Several of my campers became counselors themselves with campers that they prayed for and maintained contact with. The other day I came home to a message on my answering machine. I never call people back right away when they leave messages. Talking on the phone is a difficult proposition with three small boys roaring through the house and my phone messages can stay blink blink blinking at me for days. But this call was from one of my old campers and so I called her back right then.
She was scared because she had just gotten a text message from one of her campers. A young girl who had just taken a bunch of pills in an attempt to kill herself. But after the pills were downed, she was terrified and needed someone and remembered her counselor from back at summer camp and texted that counselor, my former camper.
Together we were able to infuriate the poor girl by contacting her mother and getting her the medical and emotional assistance that she required. She is mad, but doing better and it is all because of the quiet beauty of connections.
God is busy and at work in the dark and deadly world around us. Occasionally He shows His power in a large and mighty fashion. But so often He comes softly, in the background. Appearing in a summer of fun, a girl who grows up from camper to counselor, and a desperate text message to the first person that a kid can think of who just might care.
I Kings 19:11-13—“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.”