The first week of camp is a moment for reflection, at least in my opinion. We welcomed groups Berry’s Grove and New City’s Middle Schoolers on Monday, which is the day that is always interesting. You have these huge groups of kids come in that usually do not know the other group, they hardly know where they are, and they for sure don’t know who they are. So, as they settle in and familiarize with one another, they become more comfortable and vulnerable. They begin to trust one another in a short time while also begin to draw back the curtains of their lives, pain, and wounds. Yet their joy and passion shine through too.
What brought this to my attention was paintball. Of all things to inspire it had to be a game of war and battle. I watched kids duck and run for cover while they fired back at the opposing force. One by one they came out covered in dirt, sweat, and obviously paint. Some of the kids more roughed up than others, but each one was going through the struggle. It’s scary how much this relates to life. We go through life constantly running and jumping and trying not to get hit in the process from every angle. It’s not always possible to dodge the incoming heartache and we collect up wounds as we go. However, the worst part is when we then hide the damage behind walls we so carefully create.
Yet some wounds or scars (depending on how long ago the pain was) are just too big to hide. People can see or even feel them. They try to help but they only pick at self-healed edges, and it rips open all over again. The key term there is “self-healed” and they never fully close until you allow one individual to fully stitch you up. Jesus. You must let His love and His forgiveness flow through you freely. Trust him to erase the pain and be there for you if it ever comes back. From personal experience, you will heal if you take these actions. It is going to hurt and take time, but you will come out the other side a stronger, better person who can help others on their path to restoration. You can be the already vulnerable kid at the beginning of the week that helps your whole cabin get to the place you are…
Thanks for a great first week, Campers!
Author | Koda Moody
Photography | Koda Moody and Cassi
Groups | New City Middle School & Berry’s Grove Youth