Sunday, 5 September 2010
Lay your shadow on the sundials
and let loose the wind in the fields.
Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.
Whoever has no house now will not build one
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long
will stay up, read, write long letters,
and wander the avenues, up and down,
restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.
Rainer Maria Rilke
I am lately returned from two weeks camping at Lee Abbey. It's a beautiful place in the middle of nowhere which has seen many changed lives over the years, my own included in the number.
I wanted to share about my time at camp but have found it extremely difficult to describe it adequately. The words: beautiful, painful, awe-inspiring and vulnerable don't begin to touch the surface of all it has meant to me. With this in mind i've found a description of the values of camp we were given at the training weekend this year. I think they're beautifully written and pretty inspiring.
Reality: we won’t hide who we are – with all our flaws and failings, because God loves us as we are.
Generous community: we live our lives together and share ourselves with each other. It is a big ask and requires daily surrender to the Holy Spirit. But as a team and as individuals seeking to be a community together it is the only way. It can be costly but it’s worth it.
Simplicity: we live simply – an open fire, coal fired boilers, shared tents, hot but basic showers. And its worth it –without the layers of complexity and pressure of normal life, we make space for God.
Acceptance and healing: camp is a safe place of unconditional love in which people are valued and enabled to find acceptance and healing.
Creativity: we allow each other to be spontaneous and creative and to allow the surrounding beauty to inspire us. We want to reflect the creativity of our father God – the creator.
Space and beauty: we provide space for campers to simply ‘be’: to help everyone enjoy and breathe in the beauty of the creation. The natural beauty of the site shouts the glory of god.
Laughter: we take God’s calling seriously, but we don’t take ourselves seriously. We believe in a God who has a great sense of humour (after all he wants to use us!)