“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” -Psalm 19:1
I spent July fourth weekend at home, South Mountain Baptist Camp. Although over 250 campers filled the mountain on Friday, it was still on Saturday morning.
I love to walk through camp when it's silent, especially on a day so beautiful. The sky was a bright blue and punctuated with clouds. A breeze floated through the leaves and kissed my face, making the temperature cool and comfortable. The sun poured over the hills and into the valleys.
It had the beauty of an undeveloped place—no cars, planes, sirens, traffic jams, skyscrapers, or billboards. Nothing frantic.
Only a stillness from creation that draws you to worship.
As I walked, memories, like old friends, joined me. The memories of climbing the never ending hill "Uptop," of beading bracelets on the huge tables in the chapel basement during crafts, of reading as many mission books as possible to earn camper points, and of sitting in the cool middle room of the chapel basement during Bible study as a camper.
I caught glimpses of myself as a staffer, sitting on the front pew during chapel and doing hand motions with the other staff, teaching Bible study in the same room I'd been taught in—its atmosphere as cool and damp as ever, and being sprayed with a water bottle as I served food off a hot line in a kitchen without air conditioning.
And when I sat at the chapel, memories of Thursday nights humbled me anew. If I closed my eyes, I could almost see those services, the pews packed with little boys and girls, and me watching and praying for the Spirit to move and awaken little eyes after a week of no distractions and lots of love. I remembered the awe I felt watching them come forward and kneel at the altar, the joy I experienced taking one little girl by the hand and walking her downstairs to counsel her heart, and the repentance and humility of watching Him move mightily for His glory and the sake of their souls despite how distracted I, we as a staff, had been that week.
That awe returned because He is always moving for His glory there—whether it be exalting Himself in the quietness of creation or in the crazy, fun, busyness of 250 little bodies. Camp is my spiritual retreat, my favorite place to get alone with Him, because it is there I can “be still and know that He is God” (Ps. 46:10). His presence dwells deeply on the mountain, and every day there I count as a undeserved grace.
It is there that I regain perspective: He is a God who moves! And knowing that He's been faithful to do just that every week of the summer for over fifty years? It humbles me.
But there is nothing sacred about the site itself. God is as active in Raleigh, Greenville, and Morganton as in that chapel. What is special about South Mountain is the reminder that we serve a God who acts on behalf of His children.
What a Savior we have.