Recently my husband and I had to face facts. We needed help. The foundation of our 35 year old home needed to be repaired and there was no more delaying it. Many of you Texans know the pain. Foundation issues are just a part of life in this part of the country, but I have to be honest that knowing that we were in such good company did not make it any easier to admit that we had a problem, so for a very long time we tried everything BUT calling in the professionals.
First, we tried to just ignore the cracks and sticking doors. As the cracks grew larger and harder to ignore we filled them in with plaster and painted over them so the problem would be out of sight and out of mind. If I couldn’t see the cracks, I found I worried less about what they meant. If a door got too hard to open, I’d pull out the sander and “fix” the problem so that I could go freely in and out of my closet without being reminded that we had a growing problem under our feet. One crack in particular haunted me, however. It was directly above my bed and each night as my husband tried to go to sleep I would comment on its growth. “That one seems to be about an inch longer tonight, don’t you think?” My husband would just roll his eyes and roll over. I, on the other hand, would lie there awake, staring at the crack and stressing.
Needless to say, none of these methods of dealing with our foundation issues actually accomplished anything. The cracks we hid all came back. The ones we ignored stayed the same or got worse and monitoring the one above my bed? Well, all that did was leave me tired and irritable. Clearly, we needed professional help.
So, a few months ago we finally hired professionals to come in and repair the foundation. Those of you who have been through this in your own homes know how it went. The crew was clearly very experienced and knew exactly what they were doing, but there was no getting around the mess. Within minutes of the truck pulling up in front of our house, there were giant holes in and around our home. The place was covered in mud and the jackhammer shook the entire house and everyone in it. The process was dirty. It was scary, and in the end, it was VERY expensive.
And yet, at the end of the day I had an odd sense of peace. As much as I disliked the whole yucky, expensive process, I had peace knowing that the work had been necessary, that it was far beyond our ability to fix it, and that I trusted the ones doing the work.
I have similar feelings about our theme for summer camp this year. For six weeks this summer our campers are exploring what it means to be “Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus”. Each week we are remembering and celebrating that Jesus rescues us from loneliness, from worry, in our struggles, from sin, and in our powerlessness. Truly accepting that Jesus is my rescuer, however, requires that I approach him much as I did our foundation work. I must admit that I am a shipwreck in need of Jesus’ help! And here’s the thing about acknowledging our own brokenness and need for help: It’s dirty. It’s scary, and it can be very costly! In short, it’s about as much fun as getting foundation work, but it’s hugely important for me and for you because ignoring, hiding and monitoring our brokenness is about as effective as painting over foundation cracks. It won’t help and will likely just make the problem worse. Acknowledging the problem, however, understanding that it is beyond my ability to fix and trusting that Jesus is the only one who can, brings me a peace that is unexpected and beautiful.
So, next week as we enter week three with our fifty or so campers, I’m grateful for the opportunities to talk daily about our Rescuer, I’m grateful for the opportunities to show his love and forgiveness to the children in our care, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to tell about how he has rescued me from all that threatened to destroy. Thank you, Jesus!