I just went back to winter camp at thirty-nine as the supposed adult, if you can believe that. In the spirit of Rainy Day Woman, I snowshoed back in time, remembering God's provision for a teenager scrambling to be at home somewhere.
Quiet for an anxious, trembling heart.
A little stability, a space to take a breath in belonging.
Some relief from a mad, mad world.
I went up the mountain.
Now, I do not recommend Jane's Addiction as a conduit for worshipping God, but Comin' Down the Mountain is a lyric of thanks for me. It's a memory of friendship born of music. Because remembrances are everywhere-especially in my ears. It's Wayne Everett singing while hanging out post-worship service, as we had a little band named the Prayer Chain that we'd recently begun following, as our musicians at winter camp. I know, don't hate. But that moment stands out as a symbol of God banding together a rag tag bunch of youngsters as a sort of family unit. At least that's what is was for me. Driving some awesome vehicles-Chinook, anyone- to rock shows every weekend and playing our own music (#truth- I only had a minuscule chickbackupsinger role-probably out of pity). It helped push back the tide of overwhelming loneliness that this then fifteen-year-old girl had been drowning under.
Those years were a life raft; they kept me afloat.
I couldn't have vocalized my squall of insecurity; my gawky demeanor of nerves, flitting around looking for calm.
But God is good and He knew.
And still does.
That year, I went up a mountain and came back down with some brothers and a sister for life (looking at you, Robyn).
And a new nickname.
And God has given me a heart for youth, because I remember.
With great affection I salute you, Sgt. Wormwood as I battle in the flesh against that bitter root that always wants to pop up-with remembering His grace in seemingly random playlists of Bob Dylan, Jane's Addiction, and the Prayer Chain. Going back last summer for a meet and greet with my Fab Four was not a simple act of fandom, it was overwhelming thanks to God for my future, because His hand held me in that past.
When the encourager becomes the knife-wielder,
How can I love you or I'm sorry ever leave these lips?
Doesn't a strip of duct tape come with violating the terms of agreement?
These hands that have stripped others raw,
How can they hold another's in distress?
That's a gift too precious to be entrusted to such as these.
There are so many question marks in your use of weak vessels, Lord.
In your use of this one. It would feel more appropriate to find a rock to hide under.
The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
You are that rock. Into my unending weakness, you pour your strength. You speak wisdom into my foolishness. You make sense of my fumbling words. You calm the racing, anxious heart. You clothe my ugliness; covered with the light of your righteousness. You tell me, "Walk child. I'm leading. Just walk." You endured all my knife wounds with love. Repaid evil with good. In your grace, you allow what should be refuse to be useful.
Strengthen what's been broken.
God, comfort those I cannot.