Show Up Anyway

A reflection from Sarah, a One-Year Volunteer

Four of us found our way to Buckhorn Lake on the 4th of July. It was two of my present housemates, one of my former housemates, and me. As we drove the couple hours on winding roads, we curved our way through conversations of communities past and present. We questioned each other on how we were doing, and got to know each other better through the curiosity of questions and the sweet power of listening. In the few moments of silence, window-rolled-down, I felt the calming breath of contentment as the wind breezed through my fingers. I love the connections that are formed along car rides, through the hills of Kentucky.

While at Buckhorn Lake we took in the sites, hiked a trail, swam in the lake, and played tennis on a court with no net. I love how God through CAP brings together people of all different skills and experiences. Michael would pause, as we would too, and share his vast knowledge the different species of trees along our path. Christine would ask questions and keep moving us forward in the right direction. When the path became rough and blocked with fallen trees, Zach forged the way through, encouraging our steps ahead.

We picnic lunched along the lake's shoreline beach area and took in the scenery around us. I loved how the tree-coated hills dipped into their reflection on the lake's surface rippling with boaters and jet skis. After lunch, we waded into the lake. As a Minnesota girl, I couldn't help but dive in, so I did. Zach followed, and eventually Michael. For the first time in awhile amidst the sometimes chaos of community, service, and spirituality, I felt free floating on the water's sun-soaked surface. After we got our soul's fill, we gathered back along the beach to sun-dry off (we weren't prepared with towels). Christine guided us into our own depths as we recounted our gratitudes for the day.

Finally, we played some 2 on 1 tennis, rotating in to accommodate the three rackets Christine had at the ready. There was no net, but we didn't care. Once volunteers, always ready to make do with whatever we are given. That's the thing about volunteering... We do our best with what we got. There's no guarantee we will connect with the community we are given, but we show up anyway. Our take-home pay is very little, but we serve hard anyway. Our belief systems are different, but God shows up anyway. Volunteer life is not always perfect, but it's the moments like these that make it worthwhile, anyway.

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