As I was reading my daily devotional, memories came flooding back to me about the origin of my Living Light devotional; of how I acquired it.
Years ago when my children were very small, our family had an opportunity to purchase an older camper on a seasonal sight at our favorite lakeside campground. The circumstances in which this opportunity arose was a sad one. Another family lost their dad after a heated basketball game in the campground basketball court. The man, his name was Burt, died at the young age of 53 after suffering a heart attack. His older model camper that we purchased had seen many summers of fun and laughter for this other family beginning when their kids were young right up through their teens. We felt blessed to have it, but it came at the significant cost of someone else’s heartache. I observed how very sad it was for this woman, her name was Connie, to part with her family’s beloved place. She walked us through all the regimens of opening and closing their camper, their treasured second home, as she showed us how everything worked. She also gifted us some of their family camping items including a perfectly placed hat hook for her husband’s baseball cap, a Pit family card game that came with a metal bell, and a daily devotional called “Living Light” As you can see from the picture below, it is well worn as it is well read, and to this day my favorite daily devotional.
That little camper was our family’s first experience at camping as a family and led to many fun days and nights spent at Pilgrim Pines. There is no place nor adventure on earth like family camping, especially at Pilgrim Pines. I recall countless hours of our vacation spent at the frog pond with my children knee deep in mucky muck as I waded in, in our attempts at netting the biggest frog for the weekly frog jumping contest. The frogs were always promptly put back in their pond and I have to wonder what those croakers thought of that weekly ritual. Family camp consisted of a variety of activities offered each day. I remember learning how to bake Swedish Limpa bread with my kids and did some basket weaving, took paddleboat rides, and ty dying too. We climbed Mount Monadnock and also picked blueberries at Pitcher Mountain. On every Friday at the end of each family camp week, a family triathlon was held. As I remember, Kenzie swam, Sean ran and I biked the two miles around the lake. Their dad was there to cheer our family on. We never won but had some good laughs trying.
A favorite time was during the evenings, taking our lantern lit walks around the camp roads in the darkness as we peaked in at the other camp sites while walking by. We heard laughter and singing and spied card games and campfires, flaming marshmallows, and sing-alongs too. We oberved sweet memory making of shared times that cannot be replaced. I remember one of those walks with Kenzie when she was about ten years old. She had just returned to us from spending a week at Camp Squanto, the Bible camp just up the road. As we walked and talked my daughter asked me out of the blue if I believed in angels. It did not take me long to answer,affirmatively as I asked her why. She explained that at the end of week campfire that night before, as the kids sang their camp songs and prayed, some even giving their lives over to Christ, Makenzie saw an angel sitting on the big rock; it was living light and it was glowing. I have never questioned that she saw an angel as I believe she did. God’s promise to her ( and me) that He would always watch over her. His living light in our darkness.
The autumn after Kenzie died, I received a surprising picture text from my brother-in-law Dave who is the Maintenance Superintendent of Camp Squanto, the Bible Camp. He and his crew were in the process of painting the camper cabins and came across some graffiti written on the closet wall of Cabin Five. It was Makenzie’s handwriting! You can probably imagine how it made me feel to see it. He promised that as long as he was in charge, it would not be repainted..
A few years later I returned to Camp Squanto and ventured up into the woods to the area where those weekly end of camp, campfires were held. It was a cool November day and the camp was deserted and very quiet. I saw the big rock where Kenzie had seen the angel years earlier and thought about where she may have been seated in the campfire circle. While I was there visiting on that November afternoon, I prayed to God, I cried, and I talked to Kenzie too. Often I ask why she had to leave us as I still can’t make much sense of it. As I was leaving, I felt compelled to turn around and I saw the beautiful sunlight streaming through the woods and decided to snap a couple of pictures. Later when I looked at the pictures, I saw my Godwink! Do you see the purple on the big Angel Rock ? (Truly when I was there, there was no purple painted on the rock). And also look at the unusual shape on the tree. I believe that it was my angel’s calling card to me. God’s living light left as a reminder of the hope that I have in Him.
“Then I saw another angel flying in midair, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language and people”. Revelations 14:6
Do you read daily from the Word of God? I find that for me, reading from the Bible or a Bible devotional is a great way to start and/or end each day, as it helps provide daily perspective as I walk in His Living Light.
Below is a poem that I just found in some things that I have collected over these past years . I believe my sweet friend Norma sent it to me. We serve an amazing God, Jesus Christ, our only Living Light in a sometimes dark world.
Do you need Me ? I am there. You cannot see Me, yet I am the light you see by. You cannot hear Me, yet I speak through your voice. You cannot feel Me, yet I am the power at work in your hands. I am at work, though you do not understand My ways. I am at work, though you do not understand My works. I am not strange visions. I am not mysteries. Only in absolute stillness, beyond self, can you know Me as I AM, and then but as a feeling and a faith. Yet I am here. Yet I hear. Yet I answer. When you need ME, I am there. Even if you deny Me, I am there. Even when you feel most alone, I am there. Even in your fears, I am there. Even in your pain, I am there. I am there when you pray and when you do not pray. I am in you, and you are in Me. Only in your mind can you feel separate from Me, for only in your mind are the mists of “yours” and “mine”. Yet only with your mind can you know Me and experience Me. Empty your heart of empty fears. When you get yourself out of the way, I am there. You can of yourself do nothing, but I can do all. And I AM in all. Though you may not see the good, good is there, for I am there. I am there because I have to be, because I AM. Only in Me does the world have meaning; only out of Me does the world take form; only because of ME does the world go forward. I am the law on which the movement of the stars and the growth of living cells are founded. I am the love that is the law’s fulfilling. I am assurance. I am peace. I am oneness. I am the law that you can live by. I am the love that you can cling to. I am your assurance. I am your peace. I am ONE with you. I am. Though you fail to find ME, I do not fail you. Though your faith in Me is unsure, My faith in you never wavers, because I know you, because I love you. Beloved, I AM there.
— James Dillet Freeman
Sent from my iPad