I heard singing in the English garden outside my open window this evening. The garden is a lush and shady retreat enclosed in the center of Maryland House, perfect for meditation and prayer. The guitar was sweet, the melody moving and the voices belonged to little ones. I quietly stepped outside and found the St. Andrew’s campers holding their evening worship.
St. Andrew’s is a smaller camp that provides personalized attention and a welcoming atmosphere for kids with specific social, emotional or behavioral issues, including autism and ADHD.
The group welcomed me to join them in the garden. Two extraordinary things happened next:
Following the reading of the story of the Good Samaritan, one of the campers gave the homily. I was surprised by his poise and delivery but more blown away by his message. He talked about how good and bad dwell in everyone, how we can be changed. “If an angel can fall from heaven, why can’t a demon rise to heaven?” he asked.
After the peace, we sang again. Three counselors played two guitars and a banjo. One counselor invited a camper to do the strumming while he held the chords. As if by magic, the young camper was suddenly strumming “Country Road.” Our little group spontaneously joined in, singing, “Almost heaven…” It certainly felt like heaven.
It might never have happened had we not all responded in the moment the Spirit moved us: through an open window, through an invitation to strum the guitar, through voices lifted in song. It was magical.
So I thank God for leading me from the open window into the garden tonight to witness the Holy Spirit working through the wisdom, words and music of four beautiful children.
As Communications Director for the
Diocese, Nancy oversees the communications,
public relations functions and provides guidance to
parishes in their communications
efforts. Nancy, her husband Byron and
their daughter Charlotte are members
of Grace & Holy Trinity, Richmond.