One of the my most distressing disappointments of this pandemic (no, not Hawaii) will impact 10,000 children and 15,000 adults in 43 states and 6 countries. Anyone who knows me knows I choose twenty years ago to align myself with Royal Family Kids (rfk.org). I’ve spent the past eighteen summers working with camps in Oklahoma, Colorado and Missouri. We believe that this week of camp is essential to the well-being of the children we serve. Those children who have been placed in State Custody due to dysfunctional families and abuse. Our kids have been ripped from their families, often siblings are separated; they live in a constant state of uncertainty. It has been devastating to those of us who work with these children to have to cancel this summer’s camps. One mainstay at camp is reminding these children that they are not forgotten, God knows their name and He has a purpose for their lives. It takes them a while to even entertain that thought.
It wouldn’t be surprising if many of us are not feeling forgotten in this day of trouble. As this pandemic drags on and even with some relaxing of the restrictions, we are still a long way from the world we knew before. Some say we will never see that world again. Not a very encouraging thought.
Lamentations 3:21-23 is my favorite scripture and today, it seems all the more true. “Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends, His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.”
I confess that I have entertained hopelessness in these long days. I’ve wondered where God is in all of this and I’ve worried that this is our new normal. But, most days, I ‘dare to hope’. As long as there is breath in our bodies, God has a purpose for us. His timetable is not ours. Isaiah reminds us that our ways are not His ways. He holds the completion dates. He has not forgotten.
If you could join me at camp; you would see exuberant little faces, arms in the air, jerky movements and finally arms raised to Heaven; singing at the top of their lungs:
He knows all of our names, He sees us in this crisis.
Thinkin about that this morning, and hoping.