Wednesday, September 5, 2007

What gives you comfort? (posted 8-28-07)

Over the years, I've had comfort in many different forms. I've found comfort in my daddy's and momma's arms as a child. I found comfort in my boyfriend's arms in my teens. I found comfort in my husband's arms. I've found comfort in my children's laughter and oh so tight neck hugs, in the songs of choirs and the company of good friends. But I think my real source of comfort comes from a much more ethereal source.

When I was young, (from 10 to 17), I went to a camp each summer called Nature Camp. It's a marvelous place, nestled between two mountains just outside a little village called Vesuvius, VA. In the 70's, this village was so small the population was in double digits and there were no street signs, warning signals or anything else to mar the gentle beauty of this little place.

There is one, lone road that leads into Nature Camp and if you don't know where you're going, you won't get there. The road leading in is shaded by old heavy hardwood trees with a thick canopy of limbs and leaves that seldom allows the sun to pass through.

Once into camp, it's a bustle of activity around each log cabin, a rustic museum, the pool and "field", the caretakers home and the Lillian Shilling Building where we ate, had evening program, and finished each night with a song, the Lord's Prayer and a gentle squeeze for each other. Between the field and the LS Building is a chapel, made from stone found in the stream just behind the camp. There are trees shading it as well as "pews" made from split tree trunks. There is an old fashioned pump organ in a little stone building to the left of the alter and a beautiful stone cross atop the alter area.

For the longest time, I found myself longing to just sit in that chapel where I first found my own way to the Lord. It was there when I was 14 that I had my first personal encounter with Christ and I found myself drawn to that place in times of trouble, doubt, need, comfort, pensiveness, or daydream even. I always wanted to get married in that chapel.

Not long into my college years, I was experiencing my own growing pains and I found myself seeking out the sounds of rain, gentle or strong, water falls, bubbling brooks and rushing water of rivers. It was then I realized that my comfort is not only with God but also in water, one of His greatest gifts. I am most at peace with water, nearly any kind of water, around me. To swim in it, to hear it, to feel it, to drink it, to be walking in it, to wade in it, but mostly to be surrounded by nature while I'm in it.........

I long to be in the mountains, next to a nice rushing stream. Surrounded by the gifts of God in the trees, the wildlife, the wide open skies with a life giving stream running right through it; there can't be a more comforting place to be. I can escape there in my mind when I need to, but my real comfort comes when I can experience His World first hand.

I am still comforted by a great many things, but I know, when times are darkest, it is with His guiding hand, I find myself drawn, either in person or in my mind, to water surrounded by blankets of green, tall trees, and light dancing off the leaves and bubbles of water.

1 comment:

Lissa Ballard said...

Comment from: Tracie
Wow Lissa that place looks absolutely inviting and beautiful!! I have to admit that I truly love water, rivers, brooks, etc. I go to sleep each night to either a thundering storm CD or ocean waves crashing ashore. I find so much solace and peace and often in my mind find myself going there. I can completely understand that feeling. It's so wonderful to meet more and more people that believe in our almight God and recognize that He has been so very good to us giving us such beauty to find peace at. Thanks for sharing such a personal message and post.

Comment from: Paula [
This is such an amazing entry! I was remembering those years when everything is so difficult. My comfort then was a little spot in my bedroom. It had a balcony, and I had lots of trees close by. So, I'd sit at the edge of the balcony at night, and I would talk to God. For some reason, I always thought that God was sitting on top of the moon, and would carefully listen to me. I loved that feeling, made me feel at peace. The other place was trees. I'd climb a tree, sit on a branch with my guitar, and sing. That gave me comfort, too. Nowadays... I really can't even pinpoint what does it for me! I can honestly say that I see/feel God in every thing/people/place these days... and still sitting on top of the moon some nights!