On Sundays

The kids arrived after lunch

on Sundays.

There were usually one or two buses,

but it was mostly mini-vans and

Japanese cars.

Mom and Dad dropped off their young Lutherans

for a week of Jesus and mischief and

I was their counselor.

I was there to help,

to teach them,

make their faith stronger.

However,

I was a train wreck.

I was a time bomb.

Usually when I met the kids

I was still sweating out the weekend,

hard, hazy chaos and blackouts.

My friends would tell me what I did

on Saturday night.

I would nod, say,

Yes, that sounds like me.

I wore a Miller Lite t-shirt (seriously?) and

I snuck cigarettes in

whenever I could get away for 5 minutes.

I was a horrible counselor, but

man,

I loved those kids.

They were wide open,

funny, fearless, full of life,

5 foot heroes with big, high voices.

I would be cool when I met them, but

later I would yell at someone for something,

so they would be a little bit afraid of me.

In theory,

I was there to teach them, but

in reality, they taught me.

They were little stars

at camp universe.

God pumped them up

like birthday balloons and

they flew into the sky.

I am thankful for those lessons.

Yep, on Sundays the parents

dropped off their wise little children.

We became a family for one week,

holding hands, hitting baseballs,

swimming in our miniature sea.

At night we sang praises

as the fire sent sparks up to join the stars.

I can still see the world

through those 12 year old eyes,

running, laughing,

shouting with joy

like puppies barking.

Thanks to them,

I’m still innocent somehow.

I’m still enchanted by this life.

I’m still hypnotized by the orange, gold glow of

the summer sun dissolving into that silver lake.

 

 

 

 

  • Copyright Timothy Downs
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One thought on “On Sundays

  1. Loved, loved, loved the honesty and imagery and I could see it all filtered through my own memories of that precious time. I may not have got as messed up, but I was touched by all the hands that held mine and wanted to look (use) at my hand cream and put their faith in me to keep them safe. Carol

    Like

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