Saturday, July 10, 2010


It was my daughter, Lori’s, first time at church day camp - she went at our church. I was there on Monday, Thursday night when they did their program, and Friday morning when it ended. It was interesting to watch how the kids changed during the week. Apparently there used to be over 100 kids at this camp and for various reasons, this year there were only about 40. And while most viewed that as a negative, I thought 40 seemed like a great number of kids. 100 would be different, and probably good too, just in different ways.

On Monday, a very quiet group arrived with a few clinging to parents or sitting on the floor when everyone was standing. Counselors worked hard to get the hesitant kids excited. I thought these kids might have a week of misery. By lunch, most kids had already dropped much of the hesitancy and were smiling tentatively or giggling. A little guy asked me at lunch how I eat at the table with my wheelchair and another little guy asked why I use a wheelchair. I like when little kids ask these questions without pause.

Thursday night and Friday morning I returned to a much different group of kids. On Monday, the leaders had taught the kids that to get quiet, they would raise their hand and then others would join to be quiet. I thought there was no way this would ever be needed - the group was too quiet!

But on Friday, no one was hesitant. Everyone was singing or doing something to be active. Kids were hugging other kids. Counselors or older kids had kids sitting on their laps. It had become a little community.

Lori and I then drove to Ft. Collins to see my nephew and other family. And we taught the hippo song - still my favorite. My dad seems perplexed by all this church stuff. He's a PK - pastor's kid - he has always hated that. But I think it's because he grew up in a different time. He was made to go to Bible camps and hated them. I assume they were different then - I didn't see anyone hating the camp where Lori went.

Then he asked do we really go to church on Wednesdays - is it almost every time? I find this interesting. I imagine he had to go to all church stuff as PK, that it was very different and serious. So we grew up traveling long distances to church and going at most once a week.

Meantime I had a group of friends who were Catholic. They seemed to have a community. They got to go to church on Wed with their friends and it was close. They went on ski trips with friends. I wanted that - why didn't I have that? I thought it was a Catholic thing.

Years later I joined a Lutheran church. I started going on Sundays, started getting to know people, and gradually added things. And I found communnity. And in taking Lori, she has grown to love this too. It's 20 minutes from where we live because we moved. And my dad may seem puzzled by this. I wonder how he missed this sense of community. It must have been a totally different time and place kind of thing.

And as my "little" brother and I walked, he asked me, when I'm in a grocery store, do I want people to ignore me because I use a wheelchair, or talk to me, and talk to me at eye level or what? I told him I want them to treat me like anyone else, and to do what is comfortable for them. And then I thought, I really want them to be like almost all people at church. It doesn't seem so hard there, most of the time. Perhaps that is because I feel the sense of community. It's something I haven't really felt other places. And I felt it again with the kids this week. And I am grateful.

In the beginning God made the sea,
and the forests built with trees.
He made the mountains up so high,
and at the top he built as sky,
God's fingerprints are everywhere,
just to show how much he cares.
In between he had some fun.
He built a hippo that weighed a ton.
Hip - hip - hippopatomus.
Hip - hip - hooray God made all of us.
Hip - hip - hippopatomus.
Hip - hip - hooray God made all of us.

Peace, thanks, and gratitude.

No comments: