A young girl feels divine Love's presence at camp.
My bunk was made up with my favorite purple blanket from home. I had my flashlight and my mess kit and a hiking backpack, too. But as I stood in my cabin doorway and watched my family drive away, I wasn't thinking about how much fun I was going to have at camp. All I could do was wonder how many hours were left until it was time to go home.
The sleep-away camp I'd chosen to attend was a camp for Christian Scientists, and over the next few days, my counselors shared a lot of ideas to help those of us who were missing our families.
We talked about being grateful to be at camp, and how we could look for something good to be happy about during each of our activities.
We talked about how God, our Father-Mother, was right there with us, even if our parents weren't.
Some of the other girls in my cabin found these ideas helpful, and I was glad for them. But even though I was having a good time at camp overall, my heart still ached every day with homesickness.
One night, four or five days into my camp stay, the director of the camp came to our cabin at lights-out to give us all good-night hugs. She wasn't my mom, of course, or anyone I even really knew. But something happened when she hugged me: For the first time since being at camp, I felt genuinely loved. That night, also for the first time, I fell asleep without crying.
That hug from the camp director gave me a lot to think about over the next few days as I played tennis, went canoeing, and picked a whole bucketful of wild blueberries. Because it had reminded me that God is Love. Ever-present Love, in fact. In other words, I didn't have to wait to feel love until I saw my mom and dad and sister again. I could feel it everywhere I went, and during whatever I was doing.