Mark 5:19 Takes Me Home
Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you.
"Tell me when to go home!" she yells, through hands cupped in a bullhorn around her mouth. It's Tuesday evening: camp-wide kickball in the field. She's never played kickball before, but she loves a chance to play with the Big Kids. As a six-year-old first-time camper, this is a magical moment: standing at third base, looking home, she's asking the opposing team to tell her when to go.And they do. No one seems to mind helping the other side gain a run, but everyone seems to enjoy sharing the enthusiasm of that very first week in a camper's life.
I've seen Caroline Furnace through many eyes over the years, as a counselor, a volunteer, and a chaplain, but this is my first time looking through a parent's eyes. Now I saw my daughter being cheered on by the campers who call this place "home." I saw in my kid a reflection of thousands of children from decades of summers, each one finding this home where community cuts across teams - where we (to borrow from this year's camp t-shirt) "form unity" that lasts lifetimes.
When Jesus stood on the banks of the Sea of Galilee, coaching a new friend when to run home safe-and-well, who would have guessed those holy words would still echo by a creek at a camp this hot, beautiful summer? But when I watched them cheer her home - when I heard them all shout "Safe!" - when I saw them celebrate her coming home, I so clearly heard Jesus' voice among them.
And from this home, I too will go back to my friends and tell them what the Lord has done. Again and again and again.
-Rev. Joel Neubauer (St. Mark, Yorktown), Counselor (2003, 2007), Summer Camp Chaplain, (new!) Board member