Summer Camp of the Strange

Today, I thought aloud while walking with my cohorts "this is a lot like summer camp". Let me explain, I'm bunking up with three strangers, committing the sunlight hours of my day to learning and crafts and then spending the night bonding with my bunk mates...and it's all taking place during the summer. To add to this feeling, I'm staying in a very much, cabin-like setting- the Super 8. Cabin-like in the sense that I'm not positive things are clean, sturdy, and there may be ghosts lurking with the moonlight.

But, this is no ordinary summer camp. It is indeed the Summer Camp of the Strange. Today, after chatting with a head counselor (John Foubert, professor, founder of One in Four, and awesome anti-porn scholar), we took a little feild trip to visit a nurse examiner. Not too typical. For an hour, we listend to a detailed explanation of a rape-kit procedure and numerous horrendous stories about the every day encounters of a Forensice Nurse Examiner (S.A.N.E.). Yeah, bummer. After suffering through a terrifying ordeal, rape vicitms, in order to see justice, must undergo severe poking and prodding complete with cameras and speculums. As we left, I looked to her and said, "I'll try my best to make your job a little easier". And, I meant it.

In this time, my faith is realy flourishing. I feel God pumping through my veins, telling me that this is where I need to be. Grace is pouring down from the sky and I am thrilled to take that grace to the ears of so many hurting people. Tonight, the moon was a dull orange and a perfect circle. Grace, grace in the fact that I can look into the sky above Williamsburg, VA and see the artistry of God. It is good to serve this God of grace.

I had a cup of coffee with Anne Lammott today, well, not really. I read her book in the Books-a-Million across the street with a mediocre cup of iced joe. But, she said something to me in this intimate time together that really resonated. "You've got to love this about God- consistantly assembling the motleyest people to bring into the lonely and frightening world a commitment to care and community." Well, I think we can all agree that I am pretty motley. But, in this motley heart of mine God has placed a beatuiful commitment for care and community. Again, I see grace. I don't deserve to feel so strongly, but I thank God I do. I thank God I get to be God's hands and voice in this beautiful but broken world.

I'm connecting brilliantly with all the guys. Each has a burning heart to see rape end. Isn't that enough to love them? Yeah, but luckily they are also way fun.

Goodnight to you all. Thank you for your commitment to care and community.


caitlin said...

Hey Rob! I'm glad to see your writing again! The new job sounds unusual and challenging, but perfect for you. I'm so glad there are people like you in the world who take on these things with a willing and loving heart. You're such a gem.

I still really hope you'll come visit me in D.C. soon! I have a surprisingly comfortable futon for the next few weeks if you wanted to make a weekend out of it, but even if you just came up for the day it would be wonderful to grab a [good, not mediocre] cup of coffee and hear how you're doing.

--- Caitlin [Carroll, in case you couldn't figure it out]

Lakia said...

ROB!!! it truly warmed my heart to chat with you tonight. Can i just say that im soooo incredibly proud of you? It is sooo soo clear and obvious that God has called you to that place for a reason. He could not have put a more eligible person in the position I believe!! Reading this post and your last one, and hearing your voice and truth come from you tonight made me all teary!! I'm so stinkin blessed to know you my friend.
Not only are you doing something awesome for women-and men- all over, but you're doing it in the Lord's name and that is truly to be praised!! Until we speak again, HUUUGEEE blessings and even more prayers are being sent your way my friend! i love you dearly!! :)


Hannah said...

You totally psyched me out! I was so excited about Anne Lammott! (I'm reading Plan B - Essays on Faith by her now and it's so good!)