Summer Camp, A Tree, A Lake & A Knowing

It seems I have taken an unintended Sabbatical.  (You can read my last post by clicking HERE.)  I am excited to be back here in this writing space.    

lake opeka

Recently my counselor suggested I remember a time/place where I felt Jesus present with me and to stay in that place.  I knew right away what it would be.  So I took myself to my lake, sat under my willow tree  and wrote as I remembered (because if I don’t write –I’d soon be making to do lists)

Summer Camp, A Tree, A Lake & Knowing
written May 21, 2015

I remember all of it.
The campground tabernacle
Up on the hill behind me
The tree where I sat
The lake with the pier
The wooden floating raft calling me
I had to pass a swimming test
Before I could answer the call.
(which I passed with my
flailing arms/kicking legs
never-letting-my-head-go-under-water
lungs-running-out-of-air
self-taught technique.)

“Find a quiet place
to be with God
alone”
my camp counselor said to us. .

Being a lover of nature,
it’s not surprising I soon found
my pony-tailed, 6th grade,
first-time-at-camp self
under the tree
by the lake.

Bible beside me
study guide in my lap
pencil in hand,
filling in the blanks.

And suddenly God was real
I knew that I knew
It was all true, all of it.
God sending Jesus.
Jesus dying
Jesus rising from the dead
For me.

Mostly I remember Jesus’ presence.
And a knowing
Under the tree,
By the lake.

* * *

And today, my 67-year-old, grown-up self makes a connection I have never made before.

I have always remembered this summer camp experience as the summer of 6th grade

And it was in the spring of 6th grade my little brother died
one morning
at home
with no warning

And if God met me then.
And it was all true then
It’s true now.

Tears come as I sense your presence
Leaning into your strength
Your gentleness
I put my head on your shoulder
as my grown-up 67-year-old self
relaxes in your love
sitting under the tree
with a journal
and a pen
beside the lake.

*****

Linking with

“A Small Wonder” & “Give Me Grace Community”