This past weekend we had the privilege to go to Mont Lawn Camp
there are hundreds of beautiful life changing places in this world,
& for us Mont Lawn Camp will always rank in our top 3.
Not because we got married there, but because of what happens there.
It is sacred ground,
a space where flawed human beings go
– like the woman with the alabaster jar –
pouring out their offering to show children the Love & safe embrace of our King.
A place where tears are shed;
from sheer exhaustion of the beating sun & vigorous activities
but even more so
from sheer heartbreak of the pain they’ve experienced & joy of seeing them come to life.
It is place where the Glory of His goodness is experienced.
Where when you work there
every drop of blood from playing gaga ball for the hundreth time this summer,
every drop of sweat from canoeing down the Delaware or running around playground
every drop of salt water your eyes leak
from hearing these kids hearts, & being used to love them despite your frailty,
is not in vain.
All presuppositions of the luxury it is to serve is tossed to the wayside,
as your exposed to the nitty gritty, of the hardest job you’ll ever love.
Where you are humbled because you realize you ARE NOT the bees knees,
and that you need Jesus just as much as these kids do!
Where God meets you where you’re at & believes in you, even when you don’t believe in you.
Where you are humbled again because like it or not
these same people you work with day after day,
that the slightest thing they do can irritate you beyond measure,
become some of the few people who forever understand your heart for this place & these kids
so you learn the true measure of
forgiving your brother, the grace of Christ that surpasses all understanding,
and just how large that learning curve can be.
Where like Narnia, no matter how much time has passed,
it’s like no time has gone by & you still find yourself deeply connected to this place.
Realizing, it wasn’t so much the staff who somehow turned into family that kept you coming back.
It was the kids.
It has been, and always will be them, that tugs on your heart strings.
To cannonball with them
To make monkeybread with them
To DROP THAT BEAT with them.
To watch them catch a frog
& catch the infectious love of Christ, as you take time to listen to them.
Even as we visited we couldn’t help to not only reminisce but to join in;
the lost voice from shouting camp songs all day
the popping vitamin C gummies, EARLY morning staff devos,
& a cup of coffee (with guaranteed stole away coffee grinds that manage to sneak their way in)
that contributed to keeping your sleep deprived self going.
It is hard,
it is exhausting,
it is unpredictable,
it is filled with days where you feel depleted
& you can’t make it another second on your own;
and then you realize
it was never about you; it’s about showing them Him
& letting His grace & strength FILL YOU.
Mont Lawn Camp.
It goes with you wherever you go,
whatever job you find yourself in the future,
whether or not you ever come back,
it infiltrates your worldview,
& changes your life before you even realize or agree that it has,
because you’ve been living out the gospel in its most draining and purest form.
Your prayers & memories are filled with the way that one camper danced at awards ceremony,
or how the other camper passed the swim test,
or that one camper who tested your patience all week
gave you the most genuine hug you’ve ever felt before they boarded the bus.
THAT is this place.
THAT is Mont Lawn Camp.
THAT is how even if you never come back, you are a lifer at heart.
THAT is just scratching the surface of explaining
why it is THE HARDEST JOB YOU’LL EVER LOVE
why we are PRIVILEGED TO SERVE,
& why its worth every second.