Cough Medicine, Z-packs, and sleep....
Stubborn + Obstinate + Willful = Stupid. Okay... so I don't like medicines, but after three days of not sleeping because the rasping in my lungs kept me awake, I decided to use take a couple of teaspoons of Sarah Maskarinec's cough syrup. It worked, and I slept. The next morning, I decided to begin one of the Z-packs my doctor gave me before I left for Africa. I'm an idiot. I thought I was only supposed to use it if I had a sore throat, so it's been sitting on the shelf while I coughed my head off and struggled to breath... Turns out the Z-pack has really helped me feel a ton better.... Thanks for praying; obviously someone out there has been asking the Lord to increase my brain capacity...
Today is Day 2 of the Stanford Day Camp. Yesterday was hard and long (we began @8:45, and didn't leave until 4 p.m.), but still very good -- over 120 kids showed up! Today has been much, much better. Megan Amburn got the schedule organized, Craig Leach turned into Captain America and led all the kids through relay games on the play field, Katie Moore led songs, most everyone else (Sarah Maskarinec, Anna Giles, Ashley Hill, Chase Lyle, Matt Johnson, Kristen Webster, Diana Bundy) was involved in one of the fiercest games of "Duck-Duck-Goose" I've ever witnessed. Bryan Hill and Will Johnson spun little boys around and around and around and around. It was a good day.... The camp is being led by Henry Gibson, a lay minister in Stanford, who simply wants us to tell the children about Jesus. We're happy to oblige.
I've lost track of time, and it's hard to relate the date I see on a calendar with what I am used to understanding a particular month and date to look like. The computer screen says June 28, which has meant hot, humid, warm, sticky summer days. Yet, I sit here with an "Under Armour" T-shirt, a Patagonia fleece jacket, and a North Face down vest on. It's winter in South Africa. It's been cold, wet, rainy, sunny, windy, clear, but always beautiful.
I'm surrounded by stark evidences of God's creative power: the landscapes and vistas here are bold and big; the people are gracious, fun, beautiful; my friends make prove God's redeeming power is not just real, but really real....
When we pulled into the school yard this morning, the kids were waiting for us! They screamed! They waved! They stormed the bus! (Now we know what it's like to be a rock star! Bebo, we feel your pain!) Hugs were for everyone. Each of us had little friends waiting for us who clutched, grabbed, and gripped onto whatever piece of clothing or flesh they could touch. I saw each one of my friends mobbed by at least six little ones as they left the van. Bryan Hill sat on a wall and was covered with little boys -- ages 3 to 6 -- who were content to just sit and be held in some ways by his big arms. Anna Giles tried to figure out how to walk with her arms holding onto a group of about seven teen-aged girls. Kristen Webster couldn't move, so she simply stood in one place while her mob of what looked like eight-year olds squirmed closer and closer to her. Matt Johnson had to chase down an ornery seven-year old who was determined to steal one of his shoes... Those are just a few of the images which wallpaper my mind at this moment.
I stood with Will Johnson early in the day, and as we talked about "camp stuff," this small boy just came up and quietly held onto Will's leg. He didn't clamor for Will's attention, didn't ask to be lifted up or twirled around, didn't demand a "sweet," didn't say anything. He just stood. And softly held Will's leg. Will looked down at him, continued speaking with me, but lightly stroked the boy's head. I smiled, reached down, and also touched this small boy's wavy black hair. The smile was a reaction to two things: the simplicity of the moment and the reality of Jesus' words -- "whatever you do to the very least, you have done to Me." We simply provided a small bit of comfort to a small child. He is one of the very least of the least of camp at Stanford. He doesn't have any friends who want to play with him, he doesn't reach out to the other children. He's beautiful, quiet, has a face full of dimples, but doesn't seem to have an older brother/sister/friend/cousin around. I really don't know how he gets to camp, but he's been here two days in a row. He doesn't speak English. He's probably four or five-years old. He just wanted to hold onto a leg, so he did. He got a touch, a caress, a smile, a prayer. He brought us Jesus. We were blessed.
Again -- God proves to us that we aren' t here to prove anything, to do anything, to accomplish anything, to serve anyone, to bless anyone. We're here simply to realize God's strength, beauty, boldness, power, stature in the undemanding presence of a small boy with black, wavy hair.
He is the real One.