Yesterday I didn’t have anything to write for the blog. I had procrastinated too long and missed my chance to interview our fabulous cook and I was in a panic. I rushed downstairs where the kitchen crew was playing a board game with Scruffy and Choco and informed them that I needed a quick and brilliant story about camp. Zoe kindly succumbed to my panicked pleas and agreed to an interview. When I asked Zoe if she could define camp for me, what it is that makes it such a strange and beautiful place, this was the story she told.
Once upon a time there was a sweet young C.I.T. who had a debilitating fear of vomit. And once upon a very similar time (the same week in fact) there was a camper who traipsed off to summer camp, even though she had the flu. The queasiness was just nerves, she assured her mother, it would improve upon exposure to camp and its various activities. But what actually happened, was that she shared.
And then, in the quiet darkness of the night, the flu bug struck down two or three of Zoe’s campers. One of whom leaped up out of a sound sleep, dashed from her cabin, down the hall, into the speakers room, and proceeded to vomit onto the speakers bed…while he was sleeping peacefully therein.
And so Zoe and her senior counselor proceeded to gather up their pukey charges, clean them up, and settle them back into their beds until their parents could arrive and collect them.
Finally, it was about 2:00am and all of her campers had succumbed to a fitful slumber, but there was still one task to be done. Clean up the vomit.
Although the campers were small, their collective stomachs had produced a spectacular mess that ranged down the stairs and into the domain of the speaker himself. Zoe pushed down her encroaching panic and went to the kitchen for the mop. “Ahhhhh!” her mind screamed, “All the puke! ALL THE PUKE!!!” But this was what she had signed up for and this was what being a C.I.T. was all about wasn’t it? Doing all the terrible chores until one matures enough to have sole charge of the campers. Through her tears Zoe filled the mop bucket with warm soapy water, retrieved the mop, and proceeded to her doom.
And then, out of the nether Splinter appeared (a senior guy counselor) who was also up with his own troubled campers and he said something to Zoe that changed the way she viewed Christianity, and service, and the body of Christ.
“Don’t worry about this, I’ve got it. Go be with your campers.”
And so Splinter and Shinobi cleaned up the vomit, even going so far as to clean around the unconscious speaker as he slumbered on in his pukey bed. Zoe went to bed and then awoke the next day to base her own service with the kids and the cook staff at camp, upon that moment. When someone who was older, who had more seniority than her, and needy campers of his own, took up her burden, her mop, and cleaned up all of that wretched vomit himself.
Galatians 6:2–“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”