On the last day of Young Lives camp, in the final minutes of the last club of the week, almost 350 people – all the mamas, babies, leaders, mentors, childcare workers, and work staff – gathered together as a group. Because the work staff was, well, usually working during the week, and because the childcare workers were usually, you know, caring for children when mamas were busy during the week, this was the one and only time for such a collective gathering.
It was beautiful to behold.
So much life, so much love, so much compassion, so much passion, so much energy, so much promise, so much of God’s beautiful creation, all in one place.
I wish I could describe it to you. I wish I could give you just the smallest glimpse of what it looked like. I wish I could help you feel for just one moment the Spirit’s overwhelming presence in that place.
But I can’t.
The special lens that allowed me to compress all of those seated folk in the whole of that seating arena into a single viewing frame did just what it promised: compressed all of that life and love and passion and energy and promise into a flat, squished, distorted, lifeless image.
It’s like a futuristic class picture gone awry.
In truth, the side-sections of the room are sharply angled, not flush with the middle section.
And the people seated in the side-sections are normal size, not miniature mashed versions of those in the middle.
And the faces are radiant images of hope and joy and life, not stoic plasticine molds of the real thing.
And the babies are wiggling, giggling, screaming, cooing bundles of babyhood, not lifeless and silent dolls.
But truth isn’t easily contained in a finite, two-dimensional space.
Certainly Jesus, who is truth itself, is much too incomprehensibly marvelous and indescribably wondrous to fit into any two-dimensional space.
So we do our best to wisely comprehend and to humbly describe Him in three-dimensional ways…
by being his hands and feet…
by telling his story…
by living his love.
Because of grace, there is every hope that our reflection of Jesus will be more true and beautiful than my camera’s reflection of the last great gathering at Young Lives camp. And let me tell you – it was true and beautiful indeed.