Summer of Love

Today we go on our last camping trip of the summer, to the Common Ground Fair. A celebration of all things folkie, organic, earthy and Maine grown. Yee-haw, I'm excited! How fitting that summer ends on this last camping trip of the season and the weekend of the fair.

Seeing that this really and truly is the last weekend of summer I must post (I've been meaning to for a month now) this reflection from one of our camping trips last month. Especially since that weekend was called Summer of Love.

I'm not sure how it happened exactly but 6 months ago when we planned the August camping trip one of the guys, probably that wanna-be hippie Myke, suggested calling the weekend Summer of Love. Regardless of who thought of the title, somehow it stuck. Humm... a camping weekend entitled Summer of Love, sounded kind of hippy, folky, Woodstockish - count me in.

We had no idea what to expect but it turned out to be a weekend of rain, hiking, blueberry picking, swimming, kayaking, mushroom hunting, singing, guitar playing and sharing of life stories. Oh, and a lot of kid watching, 12 of them and 11 of us adults. We were quite a diverse group of friends and friends of friend's friends. What exactly was it that brought us together? The thing we all shared absolutely in common is a desire to follow fumble along in the way of Christ and to journey further in living out our faith like the early church (grab a bible find Acts 2:42).

For those uninitiated this was before buildings, bishops, priests, pastors, ministers, laity, clergy and organists as we know it. In spite of these common goals we had a lot of differences. Most of us adults were married, one was not. Some of us were small families and other's were large (they arrived in the passenger van). Some of us were plant eaters (that'd be us) the rest of the crew were most definitely not. But probably the most noticeable difference, the biggie shall I say, was that most of us gathered live as members of intentional community, and a few of us (ourselves included) do not.

When you get a group of church "misfits" together there's bound to be some strong convictions, after all that's why many of us don't fit the typical Sunday-morning-going-to-church model of Christian life. Strong convictions is what gives you the guts to stand apart and forge a way on a path less taken. Three new friends we met that weekend I'm fairly certain have very strong convictions. I'm safe in this assumption given that they have actually taken vows, similar to marriage, that separate them from most things Americans hold dear, property and personal rights being just two of those American IdolsBut you know what, those "wacky" people were some of the kindest, most interesting, least "preachy", educated and well traveled folks I've met.

So, what's love got to do with it? Turns out everything.

I'm full of conviction and ideals. Ideas that put me at odds with society at large, members in my community and sometimes even my family. So I often defend my way of thinking with words. However, these friends we met, the ones that live a communal life have ideas that put them at odds with almost everyone. But did they preach their convictions at me. No, they lived them, in love.

From them I learned a little bit more how to let my actions speak what I believe and let my actions speak love. I don't want to be a woman with a witty blog, an earthy lifestyle, an organic garden, a nice camera but no love. And if my actions aren't speaking love than what exactly am I saying? And is there any point to saying anything at all? Two more thoughts before I close this post on the Summer of Love: Jesus himself said it "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" and Paul wrote to the Corinthians "If I speak in the tongues of men and angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal". That should give me plenty to think about as this season comes to a close.

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Confessions of an errant homeschooler »

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