“Blaine, are you okay with holding Peace Time in the gazebo?” The Bedford camp director’s question caught me off guard. Of course my “Peace Time” would be held in the gazebo, right? I answered in the affirmative because the campers had just finished lunch and were clamoring for naptime, even though day 1 had just really gotten under way. Little did I know into what I had gotten myself.
Group 5, which I helped to lead, met inside a gazebo-type structure by the recreation field, located a little ways off from the rest of camp. I assumed that this was also the gazebo where my group was to meet. I arrived—stacking cups in hand—to begin my workshop, but no camper was around. “Well, okay,” I thought to myself, “I had better wait a few minutes to see if someone does arrive.” Three minutes later, no campers had arrived, and then I remembered that another gazebo-type structure waited in between the dining hall and the craft building. So I trudged uphill to that structure expecting to see it filled with campers eager to learn about biblical justice. What I did see was another structure filled with the Holy Spirit and not much else, AKA no campers.
Not knowing what to do, I trudged into the craft building with my metaphorical tail dragging on the ground behind me. Both of the places I could have gone were empty—I felt embarrassed that I had not been at what I knew was the correct location. I related my tale to the counselors in the craft building, and they told me what “the gazebo” means: The gazebo-type structure by the pool! My hat hit the ground with frustration as I ran out to the gazebo, only to find it empty. Not knowing what to do, I returned to the craft building to sit sullenly with the counselor group, considering how I was to rebound from this debacle. Peace Time was cancelled for the day not necessarily because of a lack of interest, but because of a mess-up on the part of the Peace Intern.
After about five minutes of moping, a camper came up to me and asked if Peace Time was actually happening for the day. I responded that of course it was and have a seat. I apologized for not knowing where exactly my workshop was to be held originally, and the camper listened and participated, as did the counselors, as I tried to explain what “biblical justice” is—the harmony that exists between our relationships with one another and our relationship with God.
This camper sought me out in order to hear what I had to say about social justice. As a follower of Christ and a Christian, I feel the same need to seek out justice; I feel called to create and promote harmonious relationships. If the first place we seek to hear and learn about how we can work for justice in our world is empty, then we all need to actively seek. The Bible tells us “Seek and ye shall find.” If we seek to find and create the harmonies between God and us, then find them we will.
Peace for the journey,