I am gaining a whole new perspective on those who have trouble parting with things. As we downsize our way into retirement, there are many things to be given away, sold at garage sales, or just tossed. For the most part it hasn't been too difficult. I thought books would be hard, but culling out things I havn't read since school and things I will never read again has been easy. So has furniture and such...then I came to that drawer full of old camp t-shirts. All have been worn, some are ragged, some no longer fit--but disposing of them is hard. Each t-shirt brings a flood of memories: faces of kids float by in my mind; young people coming to a new understanding of God and Christ; learning to pray for the first time; the look on a youngster's face when he realized he could become a pastor AND a firefighter. So many youngsters. So many faces. So many young lives touched and even changed. How can I let go of that?
The truth is I won't let go. I can't let go. And it doesn't take a drawer full of t-shirts to hang on. God has allowed me to touch those lives and let them move on, even while each one stays a part of me. You see, not only did I touch their lives--they touched mine; and I will never be the same again. The place my heart calls home includes Camp Sawtooth, Camp McCall, Lake Wallowa, Suttle Lake Camp, Camp Magruder and Camp Latgawa. The people my heart calls family include the hundreds of children who shared a week at camp with me. I give thanks for each of them. And now that we have all-camp t-shirts, maybe I'll only need to keep one.