Saturday, August 11, 2007

Nine Girls, Five Directions, One Big God

There were 9 girls in my narrow cabin. We ranged in age from 14 to 22. The churches represented numbered at least 5. By the end of the week two of them had been at the emergency room and one had had an asthma attack. In fact, let me tell you about the last night.

At each activity, counselors were responsible to count, ensuring that all of their cabin was present. If they weren’t, of course, they had to be found. Something might be wrong. Right after chapel, I noticed on of my girls was missing. We discovered she and one of her close friends were counseling with the other girl’s counselor. I rejoiced that God was taking care of my girls, even if it wasn’t through me. All week I kept reminding myself, “It’s not about you.”

Then one of my girls, who sprained her ankle the second day, was needing to follow doctor’s orders, but I didn’t know what the orders were, and she didn’t like the doctor’s orders (see Authority). So that was stressful. I kept trying to figure out how God was going to use her sprained ankle to make the week about Him. As far as I could see, the only thing anyone talked to her about was her ankle.

Another girl had dislocated her shoulder during a game the day before, so she had her arm in a sling and was icing it, but it was still swollen.

In the middle of the last activity of the evening my girl with asthma had an attack, which I might add, I have never witnessed before. Another girl from our cabin, who was sitting next to her, looked up at me when I came to see why the girl with asthma was crying. “I think she needs the nurse,” the healthy girl said. Thank you very much. Um, then call a nurse! Fortunately the nurse was present, and knew she was needed before I had to find her, so she and I and the girl left for the infirmary, where after a breathing treatment, she was doing much better. Her older sister (also in my cabin) joined us early on.

Leaving the infirmary, I caught up with the girl who had been with the other counselor earlier, and we chatted for a while as we walked to our cabin. She said she had a headache and needed a pain reliever from the nurse. With the help of camp leadership, we persuaded her to drink water and get some sleep.

I was half ready for bed when a friend of the girl with the shoulder injury informed me that my injured charge was at the nurse, and would be going to the ER. They would probably want to see me, she said. So I pulled on a sweater, pushed my feet back into my shoes (we wore shoes all day, and I was really tired of them), and prepared to revisit the nurse, wondering what would happen to my cabin. No worries. Wherever I needed to be, there I would be.

I didn’t have to go back to the nurse. An emissary told me what was going on and that they didn’t need to see me.

My brothers and I love magnets. The idea of levitation using magnets fascinated us at one point to where we spent hours trying to get a staple to float between two magnets. If we could get the staple exactly to the point where the forces were equal from both directions, in theory the staple would go no where. We came close to accomplishing our goal. In life, however, I’ve experienced the fate of the staple many times. That night at camp was one. I was pulled in five directions, and just stood in a room, turning in circles, trying to decide where I should go. Finally I got a hug from one of the camp leaders, took a deep breath, and went out and on, looking for my next assignment.

The awesome thing about that night is that even though I was overwhelmed, even though for a large portion of the evening I was with two of my girls and the nurse, unable to know what else was going on, I knew that God, my ONE, big God, was able to (and actually did, as well) take care of each of us. He had other counselors, leadership, friends, sisters, and nurses ready to fill in not the blanks of my ability, but the perfectly fitted puzzle of His plan.

Ephesians 4:16 - "From whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love."

To God be all glory.

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