Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Does God Care About the Little Stuff?

The camp my daughter is attending has a rich history with my town. Founded by the grandmother of a close friend, it is currently run by a different family from my church. As a result, we have existing relationships with a dozen counselors/staff/campers. While I am hopeful K stretches her wings and meets many new friends this week, there is a certain measure of comfort in knowing there are familiar faces on her adventure.
One such face belongs to the daughter of a friend. The trio and I have literally been writing letters to HJ at camp for several Summers. What a sweet surprise to find that as a Leader Trainee this year she was randomly assigned to my girl's cabin to help with activities! In the first photo I saw of my girl on the camp website Sunday night she was curled up in HJ's lap during cabin time. It warmed my heart and brought peace.
Investing in others often pays precious dividends. Certainly my letter writing to HJ years ago was never done from a sense of how it would benefit me later. It never occurred to me that the 3rd grader I wrote back then would one day be the tender young lady holding my 3rd grader's hand in my absence. Such is the beautiful nature of community. Pouring into people often results in an overflow from their hearts and lives benefitting others-- a cycle of blessing. What a bonus to see the impact on people you love dearly! 
And then there was the afternoon conversation several weeks ago, when K came home telling me how she'd learned about some of the camp traditions from a friend whose older sister has attended Skyline.
"There are three clubs and they each have a color. I know girls in all three, but I really want to be a Ranger because blue's my favorite color."
She went on to excitedly tell me how she and her friend had devised a plan to make sure she got to be blue.
"I am just going to peek a little when I reach in to draw a bead, so I can make sure I get blue," she reported without hesitation.
It became clear that until she saw the look on my face, she had not made the connection that this was cheating and morally wrong. We had a chat and decided instead of trying to manipulate circumstances to get what we want (an age old struggle most of us can identify with), we would start praying about it--thanking God in advance for whatever club she was going to wind up drawing. Yet, even on the drive to camp she mentioned how much she hoped she got blue.  
Monday night around 11pm I got a text from a dear friend (and mama of the friend with whom K had originally hatched the bead plot). It included a screenshot from that evening's camp pictures: 
My girl (on the left, under all the paraphernalia), HJ, and my sweet friend's daughter...all dressed in blue. Full circle.

Surely the photographer had no idea what a treasured lesson he had just captured on film. I have grinned about the sweetness of God for two days. Not because she got what she wanted, but because she got this lesson. She didn't cheat. She prayed for a month, trusting Him. And, yes, this time she got the desire of her heart.

I have asked myself if the God of the Universe really cares about plastic camp beads...and I still don't know the answer. What I do believe with every fiber of my being is that He absolutely cares for the heart of the one wearing them. God is pursuing my girl. He wants her to know and love Him--and I think He met her where she was, focused on cheap plastic beads. I believe this because He has mercifully met me in some equally frivolous places before.

K & I have this story to file away in our hearts the next time we are tempted to snatch away the reigns and take matters into our hands. When instead of beads it is an ill loved one, a broken relationship, a big decision, we can remember His care even when it came to plastic blue beads. He is the God of it all and worthy of our trust.

He will not always give her what she wants. He loves her too much for that! But this time, He did...and we will give Him all the glory...not even because of the outcome, as much as for the story planted deep in her heart.

Updated Thursday to add: Just got my first letter from camp. Grinned my face off at her second sentence. "I didn't peek."


EAC said...

I love this so much! GO GOD and GO BLUE!!!

Elizabeth said...

Beautiful tribute to community and faith! My daughter is not only in the blue club, but she's in the same cabin and photo! First time camper, too. Loved your post.

Marti said...

What a great example that God cares about everything and what a good lesson to teach a moral truth.

Regina said...

Love, love, love this. And needed to hear it!

Jennifer said...

Made me teary! I agree with you too and it makes my frivolous prayers seem a little less silly.

Cathy said...

Does God show up in the small things in life too? He surely does. I dated a guy in high school (Todd) who I thought years later I should have ended up with and married. So one day I asked God to give me a "Todd" meaning in my heart the type of guy he was. Guess what, He gave me a different man He wanted me to marry. Not the guy I dated in high school, but a completely different person and his name is "Todd." He gave me the desire of my heart. I think God has a sense of humor sometimes.

Michele Livingood said...

I've been a long time reader, but only figured out how to comment today! I love your story about the little stuff - God is definitely there!
2 summers ago, I was camping at the beach with my now husband. We went to a bar on the boardwalk so we could watch the first Penn State football game of the season (we are die hard fans). A storm a few days earlier had knocked the cable out, and the bar had a very difficult time fixing it. I told my husband that I said a quick prayer to God so He could fix the cable. My husband scoffed and said 'there's so many terrible things in this world, and you prayed for THAT?' I told him the lovely thing about God is I can say whatever I want to Him, and He doesn't judge :) Wouldn't you know, 30 seconds later the cable came on and it was all fixed! Coincidence? I think not! I thanked God for listening and answering my 'little stuff'