Beach Ministry to the Counselor

By Janae Robinson

We serve a God who is ever in the process of reshaping our understanding of reality. I boldly proclaim, “Blessed are those who get it all right,” but Jesus responds, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” I shout from the rooftops, “Blessed are those who are holy and righteous and perfect,” but Jesus sweetly whispers, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for me.” I am so thankful that the Lord wants to move me from falsehoods into Kingdom reality.

I agreed to serve at the Senior High Beach Weekend as a counselor with the idea that I was well-equipped, that I would have life-changing conversations with adoring students as we drank coffee from the local shop and watched the sun rise.

However, I woke up Friday morning with the wrong kind of feeling in my throat. Though sickness was surging inside me, I resolved not to relent. After (barely) making it through the drive, confessing (and complaining) to Laura Solt all the way, we arrived at the house. I only wanted to settle into bed with a nice cup of tea. I reluctantly told Todd that maaaaybe I felt awful and would be unable to attend the evening meeting. However, after retreating to the girls’ floor, I realized that all of the beds were already taken. I turned to Laura and said, quite composedly, “JUST WHERE AM I GOING TO SLEEP?” Without even thinking, sweet Meredith hopped up from her bed, moved her stuff aside, and said, “Here!” I was so humbled by her willingness to love and serve me.

Through the patience of the leaders and the graciousness of the girls in my small group, I was continually astounded by the ways Jesus blesses our weariness. As I was sitting in the corner, fighting the congested voice in my head screaming its “RUN, RUN, RUN AWAY,” Abby smiled at me and began asking me questions about my life. When we wrestled through hard questions in small group, questions I felt too tired and stuffy to struggle through, Natalie gave honest, insightful, gracious answers. Grace asked me to French braid her hair, Lovisa unobtrusively offered help at every meal, and, utterly unprompted, Cayla gave me a foot massage. Through these blessings, I could hear Jesus’ words, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”