I have a white board by my desk in my home office. Usually it is filled with quotes I like, ideas I have, or lists of things to do. At the moment it is empty except for one phrase in big, purple letters:
Kings Domain is a Christian camp in Lebanon, OH where college students volunteer in the summer to help facilitate weekly kids camps. I have friends who work there and I have volunteered for short stints and visited many times. Each time I am there it’s like I’m reborn into joy and I’m literally giddy.
I can’t explain the draw this place has for me but I will try.
The first time I was there I was enamored. The peace, the fun, the people, the atmosphere…I was completely captivated to the point where I leaned over to a friend and immediately said, “I want to live here!”
This past Sunday evening I went back for a Kings Domain Christmas party. My friend Julie and I crash the party every year and visit with the friends we’ve made. Sometimes it is weird to be there for such events because we are not directly linked to the camp but every year our friends invite us to crash the party and every year we do. This party was special for me and here is why…but first a little back story…
The Pulitzer Prize winning poet Theodore Roethke wrote, “In a dark time, the eye begins to see,” and I believe he was correct. The eye begins to see what is really important in life. It is only when you are desperate for hope that you are open enough to find it.
I am there.
I will not go into detail of the events that led me into the darkness for they are not important to this story and I am still processing them. However, the darkness is real and I was desperate for hope, peace, and joy when I went to that Christmas party and I found everything I have been looking for.
For starters just being there was enough to make all the tension in my neck and shoulders completely disappear. I had a great networking moment that may lead to career development which is desperately needed in my life. And, I had a wonderful conversation over dinner about ministry with a ministry leader who didn’t judge me for my ignorance but rather gave me more knowledge.
I was in a place with positive people who don’t see the past, accept everyone for who they are, help to increase personal development, encourage each other without condemnation, and love God and others genuinely. It was a positive night with a clean slate and encouragement that I desperately needed. It is for this reason that I must “Remember Kings Domain” because it was a night of hope in the middle of terrifying darkness where I finally saw a light at the end of this very long tunnel.