Wednesday, May 31, 2006

In the summer of 1986 I had the awesome opportunity to be a camp counselor at Lutheran Island Camp, in Northern Minnesota. I met amazing Christian young men and women and we all became good friends. We worked, played, laughed, cried, and shared the love of Jesus with our campers and with each other. That summer was a definite turning point in my life and I will never forget what I learned about true Christian friendship that summer.

The summer flew by and we knew that it would be difficult for us to say good-bye and that we would all never again be in the same place this side of heaven. Our Program Director, Wes Baumeister, wrote a beautiful poem that I would like to share with you.

Since that summer God has placed so many wonderful friends in my life. And I have had to say good-bye to so many of them and it has been difficult for me. This year two of my close friends have moved away and once again, my heart hurts to say good-bye. I share this poem in honor of all the friends God has given to me and the precious moments I have shared with them. I look forward to that day when we are all together in heaven celebrating forever.


There are two sides to every coin.
One features the exciting newness of discovering another.
The cautious laying down of weapons
And discarding armor.
As each open up to the other
The protective layers of normalcy peel off
And fall away.
We taste each other’s experiences
Laughing at common blunders,
Crying at common hurts,
And helping each other grow.
It is sweet.

Yet when the coin reveals its other face
Our guts twist into a hurting mass,
For our time has run short
And our lives must now turn in separate directions.
Our minds our left at the crossroads
Questioning the will of God
And we stand very alone with teeth clenched
Stifling heavy tears.
The last hug is tight with frustration
And when we part our bodies scream, “NO……..
Just one more moment.”
And it is bitter.

How can such opposite realities occupy the same heart?
Both the sweet, tender comfort of a close friend
And the bitter, harsh reality of losing them
Give a certain unrest to life.
But the unrest is quickly discarded when
Bittersweet reality
Is replaced by the healing hope of the future.
“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord,
Plans for good and not for evil.
To give you a future
And a hope." Jeremiah 29:11


Stephanie said...

I'm glad you shared that poem. With everything that happens in life, there are bitter and sweet sides to each of them. The poem summed it up quite nicely. It made me think of some of the things that have happened in my life recently. Thank you for sharing this today.

Dad and Mom said...

Dear Michelle,

That was a really nice poem. God closes one door as we say good bye to a friend and another door will be opened with another friend.

We love you very much.

Love always, Dad and Mom xoxo