It's Raspberry Ridge time again.
Every year I go to a summer camp that holds a very high place in my heart. It's a place where I can bring my violin (or viola as it turns out this year) and play pieces that are both gorgeous and inspire, but also bring glory to God in the most amazing way possible. This year, our theme is "To the Ends of the Earth."
Raspberry Ridge holds a special place in my heart because it's a place that I can keep to my chest, as if holding a glowing hope. Raspberry Ridge, to me is a picture of Heaven. It's a small symbol of what Heaven will be like. Every year, we have people from all types of denominations, of many different races, of different ages, playing different instruments, some even speak a different birth language. But for one week out of every year, we come together with the same purpose in mind. We come to glorify God to the best of our abilities. There are deep discussions that range from predestination to gun control and back again. Almost everything there is used to make the people involved better Christ Followers. We have Bible Studies that are carefully thought out before hand and the music, the theory classes, and the ensembles all tie into the themes somehow.
I walked into the Raspberry Ridge property today and felt like I was entering my secret garden, a sacred place. This is the place where God has moved and spoken and touched me and everyone at the camp. This is the camp where we've weathered bad weather and a plethora of other dilemmas, including hurricanes, deaths of people who work there and are family members of campers, bloodied faces that require stitches, and cancer. God has pulled all of us together through it. And pulled us all through it together.
Raspberry Ridge has become my family. I have friends who I see only one week a year, but I feel closer to these people sometimes than I do to the people I see every day for a year. In other words, I have brothers and sisters in Christ at Raspberry Ridge, and for that I'm thankful.
Thank God for Raspberry Ridge.