Thursday, 12 August 2010

On Earth As It Is In Heaven

A sunrise view from our trailer at Ryerson
Last week, we headed down to Normandale, Ontario.  Where is that?  Well, the closest large town of 16,000 inhabitants, is Simcoe.  We were attending Ryerson Family Camp which is my one of my favourite yearly events.  Six days of hanging out with the fam, meeting other families, starting each day off with worship and learning more about Jesus, on a beautiful site that over looks Lake Erie.  To top it off I don't have to cook!  Oh it is glorious!

As I reflect about what makes this week so special it has often been hard for me to put into words.  This year though I had two little living examples that made it quite clear.

The friendship started the first full day of camp.  We began to hear Trinity refer to one of the campers as, "MybuddyJames"  it sounded like all one word.  "Mom I need to find mybuddyjames."  or "Can we sit with mybuddyjames at dinner?"  "Mom, I have a problem.  You said I can go to the swings but mybuddyjames is at the sandpit.  I need to go there."

They were an unlikely pair but as the days passed their daily antics were not only an encouragement to me but a source of wonder.  James is about one year older than Trinity.  His mom worries about him because he often struggles in social situations, he doesn't get invited to many birthday parties or friend's houses and I would describe him as a spirited child.   His start in life was probably more difficult than any of us even know and much more difficult than this little boy can process.  He is now in a safe place with a family who loves him but trust seems like a big issue for James.  James loves soldiers, pretending to hunt for bad guys, room to run and playing in the sand.  He has the most beautiful smile.  Like Trinity it did not take me long to adore him.

Trinity on the other hand, loves to be a princess.  She loves girlie things, playing barbies and babies and having her sister do her hair.  She loves to have her finger nails and her toe nails painted, her favourite colour is pink and her favourite game is to pretend to play house.  Trinity is a very social.  She loves to meet new people and sees everyone as a friend and wants the whole world to get along.  Trinity has her bad days like everyone else but Trinity is very secure in the love we have for her and she is fearless.

James and Trinity sharing a snack
I have no idea how the friendship began but as the week wore on, Trinity was able to get James to participate in group activities.  "Come on James.",  she would say.  "I'll wait for you."  James for his part was able to get Trinity to eat meatballs.  "They have M&M's in them.  Just try one of mine."  All week I watched in wonder as these two little people, looked out for one and other.  Like the time that James heard that Trinity had had nightmares at night. "Don't worry", he said holding a stick in his hand.  "I'm here and I'll pop them!" or when she got stung by a bee and James announced that it wasn't going to happen again because he would shoot them with his water gun.  Trinity continually invited James to activities.  Again and again she would say to me,  "I have to wait for James so he knows it is not the same with out him."  

One night, as I was trying to get Trinity to bed, she said "Mommy tell me the story of the King Most High."  She loves this story and always acts like it is the first time she has heard it.  I told her about the King and the love He has for His people.  We talked about the fact that because she is a child of the King that makes her a princess of the King Most High.  It was at this point in the story that Trinity said.  "Oh I can't wait for tomorrow to tell James that he is a prince!"  Sure enough, the next day Trinity announced to James that he was a prince.  James didn't really get it and said "No, I am a soldier."  "Nope you are a Prince to the King Most High.", she concluded.   Later, she told me that James doesn't believe he is a prince.  Her and I decided that even if James doesn't believe it yet, we do and more importantly God believes in James.

So what makes Ryerson so special?  I think it is the community that is created.  It is the way in which we are reminded by those around us that God believes in us even when we have trouble believing in ourselves.  It is the way that God knits hearts together, as people come to worship Him, learn more about Him, serve one and other and experience the life of camp together.  It is an example of what the Kingdom here on earth should be.

1 comment:

  1. Kim,

    Reading about James and TJ brought tears to my eyes. Like you, I look forward to the week every year but I struggle to put into words what the week at Family Camp means to me.

    Another story about the Princess and her Soldier happened at breakfast one morning. There was a commotion beside me. When I looked, James had replaced Trinity's plate because it had a big chip out of it. He replaced it with a very "Royal-looking" one (blue stripe and gold trim on the edge). Truly a plate fit for a princess!!

    Thanks for sharing.
    Dan Lord