Once in awhile campers will give us things as they hop in their cars to leave. Paintings of Shamu (our dog), drawings of the camp lodge, pieces of writing. Camper art is precious to us, behind the oil pastels and hastily scratched out words is something amazing. They give us their art, because they felt loved. Which means that God has been here. Despite our continuous bumbling, God has seen fit to work His wonders among us and reveal for just a moment His Glory. Right here, to us.
A number of years ago I had the privilege of being a counselor once again. One of my campers gave me this poem and this morning she gave me permission to share it here with you. And so I present to you: Camper Art, Piece #1.
by Jennifer A Hart
Throughout the school year, I thought that my God left. He wasn’t there when I was tiny as an ant or when the sharks were ready to chomp.
At Last! Summer was almost here which meant: water fights, sleeping in, staying up late and last, Home! I was going home, where the sharks were gone.
Home was a place where you felt safe, loved, you could be you. And last, felt like a child of God, where you feel God’s presence!
Home was like being free from prison. Sentenced to life in prison, proven innocent, God had come to claim you.
Camas Meadows, feels like Heaven, You know God is loving you and wrapping you in His arms.
Camas Counselors, Crazy, fun, loving, brothers and sisters in Christ, pure and sweet.
Camas Campers, Wild, confused, special, little children of God, Holy and wonderful.
To My brothers and sisters: Choco, Scruffy, Fiona, Marshwiggle, Abbu, Splinter, Farquat, Adam, Luigi, Livewire, Shinobi, Mocha, Gus-Gus, Wolverine, Donkey Kong, Shoe and everyone else! I love you.
I asked Jen why she wrote this poem and left it at camp with us. This is what she said: “This camp was more than a summer camp to me, it was my home. A place I knew I could cry and someone would be right beside me, to hold me. A place where someone knew my trashed past, but still loved me for the daughter of Christ I was….each time, I came “home”, I could let all that go, and let God take over my body, my soul and my spirit. God was always with me. Never realized it, till I went up to camp every year. That is what camp means to me.”
So I want to thank you Jen. For sharing your art and for showing us God. God in all His fierce and tender glory, right here after all.