I am at church camp with our youth group.  We are enjoying scenic White Oak Conference Center in mid South Carolina.  From the ambient temperature, I suspect that the GPS would place the camp in the very center of a previously unknown volcano.

The last time I was here, I cam with my wife and all of my children.  This year, I’m here with my two oldest (Sam and Seth) and their friend Tyler.  As I write this, the young people are coming down (albeit slowly) from far too much caffeine.  Of course, they were also ramped up by a powerful worship service.

As I sit here, I realize that I miss my wife enormously.  So, I decided to list the reasons; kind of a ‘how do I love thee, let me count the ways,’ kind of things.

When I’m at camp, I miss my wife Jan because:

She’s lovely, and I can hold her hand, kiss her (chastely in public, less chastely in the room) and whisper jokes in her ear.

She assigns me places to be and things to do. Without her, I am apt to wander in circles, or waste my time looking at a frog, or get lost looking for a Coke machine.

She loves worship music, so I can put my arm around her waist while we sing at the tops of our lungs.  Sometimes she cries when she hears music that moves her.  I like that.

Unlike the room in which I now dwell with these bi-pedal teenage Neanderthals, these ‘three toed mouth breathers,’ my wife smells nice.  She wears perfume.  She wears shiny jewelry.  She even has pretty feet, and paints her toe-nails and wears an anklet because she knows I like it.

Without my wife here, this room caused a passing female camper to recoil in horror.  ‘How many people are living there?  What’s that smell?’  That never happens when I’m with my wife.

We discuss things; our marriage, children, our faith, the students.  And the weather.  She hates to be too hot.  It’s charming, the way she wilts a little in the sun.

I miss my wife because I need her.  Because, after 20 years of marriage, when I am not with her, I feel as if I’ve forgotten to pack something.  Like my heart, my soul, my mind.

I miss her because she’s clean.  I miss her because she smiles at me.  I miss her because she is me.

That’s how marriage is supposed to be.   Even at a ‘hotter’n Hades’ church camp.

I’ll be home soon baby!


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