If you know me very well, you know I do not give God the necessary praise, glory, and honor with my words when he blesses me. I tend to focus on how the blessing is really not a blessing at all or on how I was the one who obtained the blessing. Just as Ray Lamontagne says in his song Empty, “I never learned to count my blessings / I choose instead to dwell in my disasters.”
Part of this stems, I believe, from the way that God created me. For some reason, he gave me a melancholy, reflective, introspective spirit. As with all things, this nature of mine blesses and curses. For the most part, though, I seem to reflect the negative aspects of the melancholy much more than the positive.
But as I think about my time here in Clarkston, I think of the Doxology:
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him, all creatures here below,
Praise Him, above ye heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
God is doing amazing things through Friends of Refugees. I know, I know, that sounds very cliche and vague, but I struggle to describe it any other way.
I came into the summer worried about the academic portion of camp. I had it in my mind that the kids would not want to read, write, and do math because I know if I was in their shoes, I wouldn’t. I assumed I would encounter kids who lacked any semblance of intellectual ability. You know what they say about those who assume…
God continues to open my eyes to the talents of these Refugee children. This week, we took the middle school campers to Stone Mountain thanks to a friend’s suggestion. At the time, my heart was heavy (might write about that soon) and I really did not want to take them to the church to work on academics or play games with them.
I took with me some paper, water colors and pastels, and books up to the top of the mountain. I really felt like the kids would ignore the tools beacuse of the many distractions at the summit. But instead, they spent a good hour either painting, reading, or enjoying the beautiful lake view. They not only conquered the hike (a few dramatic ones thought they were going to die), but they also rested and reflected upon the glories of Nature.
Oh, how I wanted to share with them Romans 1! Oh, how I wanted to share with them that in their love of creating, via the form of art, how they bear God’s image in doing so! But God is good and their hearts and lives are in his hands.
I pray (will you pray with me?) that the volunteer groups who continue to help us keep accentuating the talents of our kids. There is one Thai camper, Yodcha, who played the cool card the first week of camp when academics time rolled around. Now, he rushes through his reading and writing activities and grabs a pencil and paper in order to draw. And you know what, the pictures are incredible. Why does he do that? Because lovers of Christ pour love upon his talents. He might never recieve this kind of affirmation, if any at all.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,…
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.