Unexpected Encouragement

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Pam Kidd shares how a note from one of her summer camp attendees gave her the encouragement she needed.

Seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not ... —Jeremiah 45:5 (kjv)

Pam,” my friend said, “be at my house next Friday at noon. We’re going to have a luncheon to celebrate your camp.” Oh wow, I thought as I hung up, my friends are recognizing my efforts! It had started on a whim, sitting out in the church garden, watching the children play on eighteen acres of beautiful land with a spacious playground, fields of green grass for running and rolling, and dozens of trees for climbing. The children in the downtown projects have never experienced anything like this, I thought. Why not organize a summer camp and invite them here each day to play with our children? Soon, an entire team was on board. There were volunteers to do nature classes and hikes in the woods, craft sessions, sports, even birdhouse building. Others offered to provide lunches and snacks.

Now the summer was over and, expecting fanfare, I was a bit nervous arriving for the luncheon. But no sooner was the iced tea poured than the young woman across the table took the conversation in an unanticipated direction. There were “so many ways the camp could have been better,” she announced, pointing out flaws, mistakes, and things she would have done had she been in charge.

My heart felt like a deflated balloon. I glanced around for a shred of support. There were stunned looks on everyone’s faces. Silence. Later, at home, I was working past embarrassment to a place of mortification when my husband tossed a paper on the table. “Found this in the car,” he said.

I unfolded the paper and saw written in a child’s hand: “Miss Pam, you are nice. I climed [sic] a tree. Love, Sheldon.” There were no framed certificates that summer; just a note from God, via Sheldon, reminding me why I had been chosen to do His work.

Father, help me to always look past myself and see my importance in what I can do for You.

Written by Pam Kidd

Digging Deeper: Phil 2:13; Col 3:23–24

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