6)      We are the body ( 1 Corinthians 12:12 ). It wasn’t difficult to understand the frustrations that our non-counseling staff often had about whether or not they were being used by God. After all, you interview to work at a youth camp because you have a heart for youth, only to find out you’re a cook, a nurse, a work crew director. Out of the limelight. Away from the kids and the fun. Thankless jobs. But none of the great things that happened at Pine Cove would have been possible without every part of the body working together for the greater mission.

 

The body also has its imperfections, and there was no better illustration than Jiggs Gaffney, a mentally-handicapped man from Tyler who spent the whole summer with us – not as a camper, not as paid staff, but just as himself. Jiggs loved Pine Cove, loved playing basketball and Commando, loved everyone. The place would not have been the same without him. It truly takes all kinds.

 

7)      There’s biblical application everywhere ( Romans 1:20 ). Mealtime was an opportunity for selflessness. The ropes course illustrated trust and security. The whole system was based on service, sharing, and community. But the best application I took away was this one, which I penned for my girlfriend (now my wife) as she was moving away from me for graduate school ten years ago:

 

“I used to teach archery at camp in Texas. It’s the kind of sport where it’s not hard to find a few life metaphors – hitting the target, nailing the bull’s-eye, missing the mark... But in the arrow itself, I found a wealth of lessons. It’s such a simple, effective, and elegant weapon, with its sleek shaft and colorful feathers, but it can’t function without help. It needs the bow in order to reach its potential, to drive it forward, or it is worthless.

 

The arrow also has been prevalent in my doodles for as long as I can remember, probably due to its symbolic significance in direction and guidance. But take another look at the feathers – do you notice how one, the one facing outward, is a different color? That’s called the cock feather. It’s unique in that it must face away from the bow, or outward, in order to fly straight when shot. As Christians, too often we cover up what’s different about ourselves, and we wind up missing the mark, or sinning. But when our unique side faces outward for the world to see, we fly straight and true, exploding towards the target in a glorious burst of color.

 

What is unique and different about you? Your faith, poise, depth, and grace, to name a few. Keep those true colors facing boldly outward; trust the Lord’s aim as He pulls back the string; fly straight. Let Him choose the targets, and you can’t miss.”