The week of Senior High camp is something that I’m not sure I can explain. How do you express what six days of honesty feels like? Six days of jagged emotion. Six days of weeping and laughing and tearing through scripture and falling on your face before God telling him that you are completely done.
Van Helsing spoke on brokenness.
The first night was about broken bones. The hurts and pains and inevitable tragedies of life that make you want to give up. But scripture is very clear. Trouble and sorrow will come, but God has called us to endure and reach to God. The second night was about broken homes. So many of these kids do not have 2 parents to hold onto. Too many of them have been shattered by the very ones who should be fighting the hardest to save them. Then came broken hearts. We are designed by God to love and trust and thrive. But too few of us are willing to actually set aside our own interests and dare to love. We are a people with broken hearts. And what about broken dreams? There is so much that you hope and dream to achieve and become. What happens to our faith and trust in God if our dreams turn to ashes about our feet? How do we patch our joy back together when life doesn’t work out?
And Friday night…ah yes.
The final lesson was about our Broken Savior.
He was perfect, beloved, unblemished. And then He came, down into our world of dust and blood and hate. He chose the fragrance of smoke and wood curls and the oiled handles of simple tools. He chose the taste of rough country meals. Fish grilled over a fire at dawn, Shabbat wine, and unleavened bread. He chose to hear hungry crowds and hobnailed Roman boots and the bleating of lambs brought to sacrifice. He chose the feeling of gritty roads and weary feet, of course fabric and the pressing desert sun, of fists and beatings and thorns and nails. And Jesus chose to see. He chose to see you and to see me. And not just to see us broken and wandering before Him. He chose to walk our terrible road and rescue us from all the horrors of sin and Hell and a lifetime of death.
Saturday morning was the Revelation Chair.
Kids walked up and sat on a broken bench seat that had been torn out of the bus. They sat and took a glow stick from Van Helsing. Then they broke it. As the broken glow stick began to shine into the room, they told their story. Tales too beautiful and terrible for words. Tales of heartache and horror and God walking here among us. We wept with them and cheered for them as they stood to go. For we are all broken. Broken, bruised, and beaten down. But strangely it is those very shards and cracks which leak forth light. The light of our God, living within, bringing hope to a broken people.
No, I can’t really explain. For I am broken too. But sometimes it is enough just to know that. To see the broken places and watch a God of love as He gathers us up and works His glory.