Lenny and I had speculated for years about bringing young adults to Gold Beach, Oregon and roughing it. No hotel rooms. No hot tubs. No kitchenette. No camper for backup. Just blankets. Pillows. Layers of clothes and a fire.
We showed up in the short bus in late September, about 12 of us thinking we had it covered. And off we ran to the shoreline, playing frisbee or football or collecting firewood for the night and walking the along the beautiful shore. As the sun made its departure we fixed hot dogs and s’mores we gathered round the fire.
Covering our tshirt clad bodies with a hoodie… feeling wise and prepared. We sang into the evening as one of the guys picked worship songs on his guitar.
We spent the next hours sharing scripture and testimonies and late into the day we laughed, joked and reminisced about earlier outings shared or stupid things done.
Eventually however we needed our blankets wrapped around our hoodies, around our tshirts. Okay at least the girls owned they were cold and started bundling. 😏
Some of the boys had fortified a driftwood teepee and eased into it as we felt the coastal wind picking up and the tide begin to turn inland.
I’ll speak for myself, I had dressed for a late September day trip to the beach expecting the wind but I was unprepared for the cool moisture and driving northern breezes and the slapping of sand that plummeted us as the night slid towards the morning and we burrowed into the sand and whomever was close enough to be a wind break or warm body.
I did voice a reminder when the cries kept lifting about the weather and someone rose to add more wood to the fire that anyone was welcome to go back up and sleep on the bus but all of us were committed to morning… unwilling to be moved.
That college and career group are now edging towards their 30s. Lenny passed away. I and others moved away. Some have married. Some are missionaries. Pastors. Parents. Professionals.
Everybody changed as they hit different seasons but today as I sit here on this shoreline once again, my heart is flooded with warm memories of a very cold night.
In life you embrace moments. And moments mark a journey and fashion hearts. From those times we learn from one another and about one another and I raise a grateful heart for what we got to experience as we walked together.
You get faith lessons for life’s journey in many ways… often it is in experiences shared. One thing I will never forget is that it’s easier to endure adversity when you stand together. Together is better.
All it would have took was one voice to say, “I’m heading back to the bus and half the team might have folded and the memory and morning smiles of accomplishment would have been altered.
How sweet it is to be yoked together and stand, or sleep, against the wind and pressures of this world.
Not sure I learned enough however as once again I sit here wishing I’d brought a coat. LOL
Sadly this time I am alone but wise enough tonight to have a gotten a room.