I did it again. Another week of sitting on the sidelines, watching athletes, or at least sports lovers, do their thing, Intensely. Passionately. Even with injury and pain. How can you be such an integral part of something you don't care about? It's the play of waterski camp that I don't care about. Just the skiing. That's only one third of the week's activity. Much joy and entertainment come out of watching others succeed, reach goals and have fun. That's what I do there. I rejoice with those who rejoice. I feed them, bandage their boo boos and listen to their hearts. All the while, praying for the week to bring them one step closer to the God I love and want to share with them.
It is a gem of a thought to understand that the outward activity is irrelevant to the inward. Paul said, "I have become all things, to all men, for the sake of the Gospel". I have become a waterskier for the sake of the Gospel. All winter long I am a hockey mom for the sake of the Gospel. God gave me sports loving children and husband. If I am going to relate and share in their lives, I need to stretch myself. Fortunately, no one is shoving a hockey stick or a long rope in my hands, but my watchful eyes, my clapping hands and cheering tongue are fully engaged. There is great joy in that involvement. The campers hopefully see a family working and playing together even with differences.
This week was a special blessing in our camp experience. My oldest son, in his final year as a camper along with our next door neighbor friend, as a new camp counselor, shared their testimonies with the campers. I sat tearful as I watched many years of prayers and loving these two boys bear fruit. My son, a few years younger than Johnboy, would sit by the window every day, waiting for him to jump off the bus to play. Johnboy's patience with this little kid was beautiful. This little kid's admiration for Johnboy was endearing. Growing up together. Growing away from each other. Now growing beside one another in Christ. Two young men now, handsome and tall share a hug. A brotherly hug. A mother watches from a distance holding joy deep in her heart. My own silent victory lap.
This isn't about waterskiing. It's about love. The love of God that transcends commonalities. It transcends time and distance and history. These boys followed very different paths and ended up for a moment, in the exact same place, recognizing their kinship and Kingship. This Agape love adds Philos love which fulfills the second greatest commandment. I don't have to love waterskiing to be in this place, just loving God with all my heart and the people around me is necessary.
My best friends have always been jocks. My family members are sports nuts. I think I am destined to be a cheerleader...minus the short skirts and pom poms. I carry camera and Band-Aids. Or maybe I'm the coach...I do carry a clipboard and chew gum intensely. When the day is done and the athletes sleep, I paint a picture or write a story of sacred, privileged mother and wife moments. They need to be loved and that I am passionate about.