Beatitudes for Week 9: Blessed are Your Dirty Camp Feet

SLMBlessed are you who love your campers, even when it’s hard. Blessed are you who wait for that last camper to tie their shoe, who sit by the homesick one at mealtime, who offer to be their canoeing buddy so that they don’t feel left out or afraid. Blessed are you who work hard each week to learn each camper’s name, you who patiently say “if you can hear me clap once!” five million times so that you can start the next activity, you who after a whirlwind of adventures find yourself saying a series of bittersweet goodbyes at the end of each week.

Blessed are you when you stick with and show grace to this beautiful, messy community, even when someone forgot to do their outcamp dishes and someone else didn’t show up in time to help lead worship and someone else forgot to clean up their mess in the staff lounge and really all you want to do is find a quiet place of sheer solitude.

Blessed are you who continue to offer yourself in worship and prayer and Bible study, even as you wrestle with your own big questions and doubts and insecurities.

Blessed are you when you find yourself pushed outside of your comfort zone: when you end up leading songs even though you have never considered yourself a musician, when you are trying again and again to get your fire started to no avail, when you are suddenly left in charge with other people’s children or adults with disabilities and wonder who the heck ever thought this was a good idea.

Blessed are you who feel like you can’t make it one more step and yet you dig deep to welcome another batch of campers—each with their own gifts and quirks, joys and insecurities, expectations and surprises.

Blessed are your dirty camp feet, blessed are your muscles that are sore from playing running games or hauling canoes, blessed are your fingertips calloused from playing the guitar. Blessed are you who got acrylic paint on your favorite shirt, you with campfire scented hair, you with bags under your eyes from too little sleep. Blessed are you with rockin’ Chaco tanlines, with Gaga ball battle wounds, with a sunburn from a long afternoon lifeguarding, or with a hoarse throat from leading the Hammer Song one too many times.

Blessed are you in your mountaintop joy, in your total camp glory, in your laughter, in your newfound friendships, in all of your gifts and passions and each act of service. Blessed are you in your exhaustion, in your frustration, in your anxiety, in your questions. Blessed are you, for you are a wholly loved, claimed, and called child of God. Blessed are you, good and faithful servants.

Amen.

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