Christine Rhyner

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Camp Fear
10/9/2016 3:56:00 PM by: Christine

 

  1. Camp Poverty: A sprawling, dirt site with cramped, ripped tents and broken, makeshift supplies strewn about. These campers fear and attack one another to protect what little they have. As they look beyond felled trees and a rocky incline towards other campers’ sites they think maybe those enjoying nicer views and better stuff are partly to blame for their lack. Maybe there is some truth to this. Yet deeper than the roots of the weeds that surround them is their fear that if they don’t do what they have always done, what scraps they have will be taken, then something terrible will happen. It’s what they have always been told and stubbornly continue to believe.   

  1. Camp PC: This camp enjoys the company it keeps inside its comfortable, attractive tents and the lovely views around them. The site is clean and looks good. So does its campers. They take long walks with trim bodies, preferring to forage around the plant life and trees for food rather than kill any of the creatures they adore. They can be polite with other sites, but when they zip up at night they are most happy to be amongst themselves and they wonder…Why don’t all the campers at all the sites think like us? They firmly believe what they think are the best thoughts for all. Maybe laws should be made to get others to think just like them. Yet, deep within, they fear someone or something that may challenge those thoughts, and gone will be the right and acceptance that has blossomed for those thoughts to be so enjoyed. 

  1. Camp Establishment: This site is the oldest yet nicest. From atop a lush, beautiful hill and perfumed shade trees sit routinely replaced, spacious and well-appointed tents set before a prime view of the glory that surrounds them. Runners fetch their choice of fruits and fish and meat. They are content, well fed and enjoy the nicest supplies and a collection of toys with which to play. But they are vigilante to make sure that nobody soils or spoils or changes a thing about their camp. It’s deeply rooted in tradition and principle. What they fear is that if they don’t do what they’ve always done they will lose their view, the lush spot upon which they have parked themselves, and their tents and toys and the traditions and principles they clutch. They are afraid to admit the traditions and principles have been designed to move about, through the runners even, to spread good news across the entire site out through the forest and beyond where they can grow into actions and causes that bloom into good fruit for all to enjoy.

  1. Camp Change: This campsite is modest, yet comfortable and it is grateful for what it does have. Yet it wonders where everyone has gone. For, many of them do remember this site from decades ago when their tent was the “go to” spot, filled with throngs of campers who came together. Now there are so many divided camps that do not want to come by or gather with them. They try and reach out and encourage them about a great leader on the way to make the whole campsite great again. Camp Change loves the site, the lake and forest but they are afraid. They wonder if their numbers will completely evaporate, or if they will be overrun by the other campsites that have become so much larger than they can ever remember. Surely, the man will rule the entire site and make things right again.

  1. Camp Checked Out: This camp is large, yet secluded with a tall fence that blocks off the winds of change and the view of and noises of other campers. They wear rose-colored glasses and play loud party tunes. They’re so distracted by fun and humor and pretty things, they don’t think they’re missing anything. In fact, if they catch a glimpse of the other sites they dive back deeper into their own colorful, entertaining and protected camp. At night, as sounds of Camp Poverty fighting, PC sighing, Establishment grumbling and Change chanting waft through the air, they zip up their tents tight and raise their music louder so they won’t have to hear a thing. And they try not to think about the other sites but simply wait for all the noise to cease. Surely it will blow over and everything will get straightened out so other sites will have some fun too.

  1. Camp Warning: A tidy, maintained site, Warning is diverse but small. It is the most self-sufficient of all the sites and stores up reserves with care. Many can identify with Camp Change and some even agree about the man it eagerly waits for. Those that do, believe their God has sent the man for such a time as this and will bless him and through this blessing, bless the entire site once again. Others strongly disagree and put their hope in the One that made the man as the only One able to redeem the entire site. And that’s where unity has been lost in Camp Warning. While half of its campers warn against opposing the man, the other half opposes trusting in the man. Both groups are afraid. The first half is afraid something will block the coming of the man and all hope will be lost. The latter half fears an awful time to come if every human in each camp refuses to release its anger, or lofty thoughts, or principles, or distractions, or idolatry. They routinely sound the alarm to the other sites and warn them of impending danger unless they collectively cry out not to the man but to the One who made this man. When they are not warning, they are praying for the other sites and singing praises. Like bits of confetti are truths spread by Camp Warning over the other sites. But these are ignored, scoffed at or angrily rejected with shotgun blasts from Camp Poverty, ground in heels and nastier grimaces by Camp Establishment, the brooms of Camp PC, fingers pointing to the clouds by Camp Change & some of their own, and louder music from Camp Checked Out.

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