“Blessed are they who have set their hearts on pilgrimage”…..i.e. camping???
Camping. Several vivid things come to mind with that word. Specific times in my life where I’ve camped with my family in beautiful natural settings, marveling at God’s handiwork, away from crowds. and schedules. Or on the soccer field of our school in Taiwan after an earthquake which killed 4000 people and as the after shocks continued, and we felt safer clustered in tents on that field rather than in our houses. Or camping for 2-3 weeks at a time in a rented stone cabin on top of a mountain on an Island in Hong Kong, which became a regular summer adventure and now remains a special memory.
Camping. The word illicits thoughts of being temporary, on the move, a different place than my ‘normal’. Basic, simple. Closer to nature, away from stuff. Different scenery. New thoughts.
Recently I had the joy of camping out on an air mattress on the floor of my youngest son’s home. This was not the first time I’ve enjoyed their space. But this time was super special as he and his beautiful wife are new parents to my adorable one month old grand-daughter, Tilia.
Now my bed was no crummy air mattress, but one of high quality as Jeremy and Alicia are experienced back packers, which is a whole NEW level of camping than I have ever experienced. And oddly they’ve never invited me to join them on those excursions! And I’m glad! But I digress…
So camping on this single, super comfy, inflatable bed, I not only slept well but during the day, sometimes in the wee hours of the morning, little Tilly would be sleeping nearby in her swing.
And from my padded perch, I could observe her peaceful slumber, with my heart of thanks for the gift she is to us all. I would read, or do my computer projects, sip my coffee and then at some point, she would start to stir. My Nana instincts would kick in as my role for those days was to give assistance any way I could to support my children and their new roles with their first child. And of course my joy included holding and loving on Tilly every moment possible!
So, my directives were clear. When Tilly would be obviously ready to be fully awake, I would be in a place of readiness to lovingly lift her from her swing, and carry her to the ‘dairy queen’ who was getting some much needed rest herself. In those few moments until Alicia was ready to nurse Tilly, I could do little to console this hungry bundle. Alicia had the goods. I did not. But I could DELIVER the beautiful albeit distraught bundle her to her mommy, and be attentive to both of them for those moments in the early morning hours, or afternoon or whenever I was camping nearby and on alert. It might be a glass of water or fixing some food for Alicia, or burping or helping change Tilly’s diaper. My M O was to be camping, available, and I was
deeply grateful for that experience.
During those days, I just ‘happened’ to be reading Psalm 34:7 “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him and He delivers them.”
Amazing….the angel of the LORD….camping near me, to deliver me. Even as my mission was to be near Tilly and her parents for those days, in a makeshift space, available and eager to deliver her to be fed, with my ears, eyes and heart tuned in to their needs, SO the angel of the LORD is doing that for me 24/7 as I live my life in reverence of and to God. He is delivering me from challenges, seen and unseen, carrying me through troubled times, because He is totally, lovingly, and all knowingly tuned into my needs. He is capable and eager to help me, carry me, take me to where I need to be, as I feel as helpless as that little babe in her swing.
As Tilly was unaware of me camping near her, so I’m usually unaware of my Angel camping near me. But that doesn’t change the fact that He is there. But that does now change the picture I have of the rest I can enjoy since this is true. My “Deliverer” is camping nearby as I was with Tilly.
That thought can rock this Nana to sleep without a swing. He’s got me covered.