“After our first Friday night performance, I was as shaken as the character I portrayed. I changed out of my costume, listened to a few friends whisper to me that I had done a good job, and sought solitude. I found it in the chapel in the woods. We had a wooden cross erected behind the stage there, and I fell to my knees and began to cry.
I was overwhelmed with emotion, with guilt over mistakes I had made, and with feelings of inadequacy over the importance of my role in the lives of the campers who were making decisions for Jesus that night. I knelt there, crying and praying, fearing that somehow, through some missed line I might be responsible for not reaching a camper that night. As I knelt there pouring out my heart, it began to rain. I didn’t notice the rain immediately, but in one crystalline moment I became aware of the rain washing the fake blood off of my hands and arms. As the rain washed the blood from my body, I felt God there with me in that moment. I felt his forgiveness washing away my sins. I knew that I had been forgiven.
It has been 10 years since then, and I still go back and work at Timber Ridge every summer. I am now the assistant director, and help with the nightly dramas. I no longer act in them though, and sometimes my duties keep me too busy to really appreciate them, but I still feel God’s presence in that place. Whenever I have doubts, get discouraged, or question my faith, I remember that moment in the woods. I remember a time when I had no doubts whatsoever, and that memory has been a lifeline for my faith ever since.”
📸: D’arce Peter