Snow came to us this week without very much fanfare. The meteorologists didn’t get as excited as they normally do, letting us know that snow is on it’s way. I think that meteorologists sometimes feel the responsibility of actually bringing us the weather that inevitably arrives. So, when bad weather is on the way, they feel the need to break it to us gently, kind of like they are telling us the goldfish died. I hate to have to tell it to you like this, Lakeshore, but it’s going to rain again. It’s going to drop at least 3 inches on us before it’s all over. I’m here if you need someone. I’m very sorry it has to be this way. You’re going to be alright. We’ll make it through together.
In December, when snow is a possibility, we are still excited about winter. It is still new. So, they are excited to tell us about snow. I know you’ve been waiting and hoping for this for a long time, so it’s finally here. Go ahead, open it. Take a look, slugger. Yeah, I’m so happy to see you happy. No, it’s not too much–you’ve earned it. But, it’s January now, and snow and ice is becoming more of a hassle. We’ve had enough time off work. If we miss much more school, we’re going to have to go in June. So, we’re back to the dead goldfish bit. The wind blew here at camp very strong. It was the wind you could hear howling from inside. It really felt like winter to all the senses. And, by the end of the day, we had a dusting of snow to walk through.
On this cold Friday, Hope’s visit earlier, hardly seems like it was this week. Most of the rest of her college friends had already started school, so she visited and updated us on her first semester of college at Hendrix. Hope took a walk along the waterfront, heading towards the Oxley Cabin. The water had dropped enough that she could cross on dry land over to one of the islands in the river. She walked out to the edge of the land, which is under water during the summer, to survey this view most of us rarely see. Then she heard something in the woods of the island, got freaked out, and came back. There’s no telling what animals cross the land bridge. If the water was not so shallow, making it easy to walk back, a quick rain could trap something on that island, making it the lone resident, besides birds and snakes. Imagine a deer ruling its own island in the river. We could canoe over to be in the court of Stag Island and its Great Deer King. Your island is beautiful, your Majesty. We are so sorry about the flood. Our nation is here to help your small island country. Our meteorologists have prepared us for this event.
Hope returned to the office and then set out with us again. Bill took me on a hunt for driftwood along the water. We are working to add a few things to the prayer chapel–crosses to inaugurate our cross wall and a stand for votive candles that can be lit as participants pray. Most of the pieces in the prayer chapel were found around camp, and we think we can probably furnish most of it with what has washed up on our shores (except for the air conditioning unit we want to add). Bill regularly walks along the waterfront collecting pieces of driftwood to fashion into decorations, knick-knacks, and furniture which are sold to benefit the scholarship fund. Bill told me he had a few pieces in mind that would be great for the prayer chapel. Bill knows the driftwood along his trail as well as we know the rooms of our house. As we walked, Bill pointed out piles of driftwood he’s stacked for later use. I told him that if I had been walking out here alone and seen these strange piles of wood, I would have thought some kind of crazy cult-like activity was going on out here.
We picked up lots of driftwood and marveled at how water can shape a thing. One day, we hope, these pieces that we carry and shape further will bring countless people closer to God. One day, I hope to kneel in that chapel, light a candle for a prayer weighing heavy on my heart, then run my hands over that smooth piece of lumber, feeling the days and years of influence by a force so powerful it changed something so dense and strong. I will hope that some great force will come and change me too, making me something of beauty.
This week we welcome retreat guests back to Lakeshore. Christ UMC Nashville youth, Calvary Chapel Bartlett, and Carrie Shanklin are visiting us. We hope their time brings them closer to the peace and love of God.