MFuge & The Duct Tape Purse

I have waited to post about my adventure to youth camp this summer. Why? I don’t really know. I went as a chaperone (not my first time doing this…) but it was my first “mission” camp. We were in Greenville, South Carolina……or as the old song goes…..over the mountains and through the woods…… about 12+ hours away. I was lucky enough to be on the “hot” van (No, people. I don’t mean the one with all the beautiful people!!!). I’m talking about the one that the air-conditioner was kapoot! Not a good thing for this forty-something old lady, and I was in the front seat too. I was still on fire hot! I’m not complaining! Just trying to give you the full mental picture.

This van also did not have a working radio. Any of you who spend any time with teenagers know…..there MUST be music! I love music! You have to know that by now….but not a boom box rigged up on top of a tool box and several pillows right by my face (BLARING AS LOUD AS IT WOULD GO!!!). Get the picture? I wish so badly I had one. You would really enjoy it.

I was co-pilot with our fabulous youth pastor, Mark. Mark is great! He’s extremely ADHD (not a big deal as I am married to the “ORIGINAL” poster child of ADHD!). He’s wild & spontaneous! He’s hyped up and loud! He’s fun & crazy! He’s a ball of excitement! Which really means….he can also be annoying! In a good way! I, along with the rest of my family…LOVE Mark!
I wanted to totally be able to help him however he needed me. I’m a people pleaser by nature! Let me throw in here, we were traveling far away with little to NO SLEEP! With two vans full of teenagers excited to the max about going to camp. I was ready! Need the map read? Need this? Need that? I wanted to make sure Mark was NOT distracted with anything so as not to wreck and kill us all. Mark wanted to act not only as driver, but as head cd digger-outer/DJ to the boom box that was BLARING (have I mentioned that yet?)in my face.

Directly behind me in the seats were 3 big teenage boys. Who were very loud, playful and not so sleepy! One of whom took a liking to me right away. His name was Christian. He was just a sweetheart of a kid. He talked and talked. I had to turn in a weird way to participate in all our conversations, therefore me old neck got a crinky. I wanted so badly to sleep..but to be honest, I just couldn’t do it with that boom box blaring in my face. Once we arrived at camp, it was a whirlwind of activities that consisted of go, go, go the entire week. It was exhausting, but in a good way. Free-time was not on the list of activities.

One morning, Christian came to breakfast with a gift for me. He was so proud to give me my very own duct tape purse that he made with his own two hands. It even had a wallet and a place to put my cell phone. He was beaming with pride. I was touched! I really thought he was joking with me at first, but he was serious as could be. He wanted me to wear it and use it all week. I was all like….”Well, Christian…..I don’t want to mess it up!”. We had some rain during the week and honestly it wasn’t broke in quite right either. It hung all cattywonka and stayed gaped open….anxious to spill out all my personals. I told him…I’d hang on to it and keep it forever! Also, that I loved it and was very thankful he wanted to share his gift with me. What an honor! It had taken a lot of time to create…and to make it even more wonderful, he wrote my name on it. What a sweet kid!

I want you to know that I learned a great lesson from Christian. It was unconditional love stuff. He hooked onto me and he genuinely liked me. He wanted so badly to show me just how much. He spent his time (and when he had free time to construct an elaborate duct-tape purse I DON’T KNOW) putting this gift together to show me his love. I am really blessed because of it.
What is it about us that we are so careful to show love to people? Why do we live so reserved? Protecting our image? Wouldn’t it be nice if more of us were like Christian? Loving, accepting and looking for ways to bless others? I remember how everybody was laughing at his gift (they thought he was playing around) but he wasn’t. He thought it was amazing! Maybe that’s why we hold back, we’re afraid someone will laugh at us or think we’re weirdo’s. I want to be someone who blesses others. Lucky for them, I do not have the gift of duct-tape art. Maybe I have something else they need…..just to be a friend.

Acts 10:34…”God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.”

Leave a Reply