Wednesday, June 25, 2008

i heart CA

I heart California weather.

It is amazing here right now...Gorgeous days, peaceful & breezy nights, sunny mornings...

I'm in L.A. right now on the campus of UCLA for a camp called Ignite with the Jr./Sr. High kids from Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. There are about 600 of them here, and I'm having a blast getting to know them in little bits and pieces as I'm able to. I had forgotten how funny junior high kids really are, how awkward some home schooled kids can be, and how much high schoolers love to yell "woooo!!!" at every little thing at church camp. Back in the college days I used to do camps every summer as a rep for LCC, and in the past few years working for Admissions I've been privileged to do a few more weeks of conferences and such. I'm so thankful I get to spend this week w/ these kids hanging out and helping them to see that there's more to life than the little snapshot they often see.

It's only their second night here at camp and I love when they start realizing that being a Christian isn't just a show anymore. Some are still great at putting on the masks, but many of them are being introduced to Christ for the first time and many are reconnecting and choosing to grow deeper. I'm helping out w/ a small group of girls who are going to be sophomores in high school, and I can't believe how different each girl is from the next. These kids, having grown up in Vegas their entire lives, have such a different background than what I'm used to.

I love the diversity. It seems to be a rarity in the Midwest. I'm not talking about racial diversity, but differences in cultures, values, families, traditions, theologies. Even as I sat at The Coffee Bean in Westwood Village this afternoon I realized how we're all so different, yet we're still all the same. We look different on the outside, and we've all got such different beliefs, different lives, different upbringings. But we're all looking for purpose. We're all in the same boat looking for love and a reason to be alive and a hope for the future.

Praise God we have that in Christ. No matter what we look like, no matter what we do, how much we sin, He loves us all the same. No questions asked.

And so I'm loving more than the weather in California. I'm loving that my eyes are being opened to the bigger world around me and a love that crosses all boundaries, all differences, all separation. I knew that before, but I'm catching a clearer glimpse of it now.

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