Thursday, August 22, 2013


Last week Thursday, I spent some time at a week-long summer camp experience for children.  Forty children ages 6 to 12 (except for two "littles" that were not quite 6, but needed to be there anyway) listened to how love can find them and hold them despite difficult beginnings and situations outside of what their small hands could control.  They learned how the Jesus I love so much could be their foundation for life.  They sang songs with exuberant adults, clapped and moved energetically, and become so enmeshed in the moments, I am sure the last day of camp was harder than any of us could comprehend.

Royal Family Kids Camp has satellite, independent summer camps for kids in foster care all over the world, but also in my neck of the woods.  The children that participated were part of a family for a week; they were invited to be part of an eternal family no matter where in the world they might end up after the actual camp experience was over.

And me?

I was honored to be there.  I was honored to see them swimming and sliding down soapy tarps on hillsides and loving their Camp Buddies.  I was honored to see the children be allowed to let "the kids hidden inside" come out - romping and playing and being celebrated.

But more, I was proud to be part of the Royal Family behind Royal Family Kids' Camp.  The camp is hosted by others that believe in Christ's mission to save, believe that God has a place for everyone because of what Christ did 2000 years ago.  The underlying tone of the camp, which on the surface looks similar to other summer camps with all the activities, is the mission to love these kids with the love God has shown to us all.

My belief is that children deserve to be loved like God intended.  That doesn't mean you preach it more than you show it, more than you give people permission to be who they were born to be.  You embrace and give significance to others by paying homage to who they are as humans on this earth, by loving them simply because they are here.  Then you remind them that their existence is not by happenstance and is not a mistake.  No such thing.

Last week those kids knew this.  It was repeated over and over in loving action, so much so that the children responded.  Souls that had been stifled by adult circumstances outside the camp's fun and peace were able to say, "Yes!  I am here!  And I matter!"

If that isn't the real Gospel in action, I don't know what it is.

The sun (Son) was shining a week ago at a camp.

And kids that have little to laugh about threw their heads back and laughed like Heaven just touched earth.  (Truth is, it did - through the hands and feet and love flowing like living water.)

Every child was given a surprise birthday party and Heaven touched earth again when these babies realized their lives were indeed worth celebrating everyday.

I could feel the Presence of God, the warmth of Him on my skin, because Heaven touched earth.  We were loving His babies, and the fullness of His Presence wrapped us all up.  The King wrapped us in His Royal Garments (love).

And a week later, I am still wrapped.  I hope these children went back to the world where they were "just" foster kids, knowing they are so much more - knowing that God has them in His arms no matter what happens.  They are royal.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


I held her hand, clasped in both of my own, and because it is still too raw (the hearts still bleed), I cannot and will not go into the details of the deluge of pain that changed everything for her.  But this one thing I remember, as I sat there gazing into questioning and wondering eyes, are her words.  The words were not phrased in a question, thank God, because I had no answers.  I still don't.

"The very thing I feared the most," that mama said, tearful, "has already happened.  Nothing else can be worse than this."

And the next morning, my heart still haunted by it all, I sat at my writing desk and wrote the following words:

"Will I still believe?"

And then...words not written by my hand landed hard on my heart.

"Will you still love Me?"

That whisper belonged to the One that made me, as if He was continuing the thoughts of that same heart - letting me know that He was with me in the silence.  I can hear His Spirit whisper when I can't hear anything else...when the wind is ripping at the world outside, the deluge is pouring down, the earth is trembling, and I, like Elijah the prophet in the Old Testament, stand at the edge of the cave where I have hidden my heart from the pain of life.  He whispers...just like He did then, documented in those pages.  He whispers still.

He even whispers when I hold the hands of the hurting.

In the face of the unfair, will we still believe that He is who He says He is?

Some questions, you answer in a whisper, down deep in the blood and bones because verbalizing the words just aren't enough

And just now, as I think of all this, I read words written by Ann Voskamp (one of the hearers of the God-whisper).  Please read the full post at her blog at, under the title "When You Just Want God to Show Up and Answer Your Prayers".

"Faith is this unwavering trust in the heart of God in the hurt of here."

We don't always get our prayers answered the way we think we should, but the trying of faith is right there, Ann relays in her poetic way (I summarize).  That is where we learn to believe Him, when there really is no reason to.  Even if He doesn't answer, even if the worst fear comes and gnaws our hearts into a myriad of pieces, will we still believe?  Or will we know that the worst can happen and sometimes does, but God will always be right there in the midst of it?

Will we still love Him and believe in His love, to the very end, after the worst has happened?