Ever wondered if you were watching a sacred moment?
I was the Camp Director/Speaker at Lost Canyon this summer. It happened to be the week called Capernaum Week, where all the kids have special needs. Prior to all the kids’ arrival, I had heard about one very special girl, Melissa.
Melissa was an 18 year old from a Young Life club in northern L.A. Up to the last minute it was unclear if she would even show up, as she was in the final stages of battling cancer. In the end, she made it to Lost Canyon.
As the week unfolded I found myself watching Melissa a lot. I had never observed a kid at camp who was, according to doctors, in their “last days”. At times Melissa was in a wheel chair, just to conserve her energy. At other times, Melissa stood, or I should say, danced! If we turned on a Justin Bieber song, Melissa would not just stand up, she would dance “like crazy!”
There were a couple of times I watched Melissa and felt like God was saying to me, “Eric, you are watching a sacred moment right now. Take this in . . .” And so I did.
One moment I will never forget: We had a bridge built specifically for kids to understand the “gap” that sin creates. On the night of the cross talk, we moved into place a section that connected a bridge over the gap, with a cross on it. These kids loved the visual example, and even did what no other kids did in previous weeks – they wanted to walk across.
I will forever cherish the moment that Melissa walked across the bridge. She went very slowly, almost as if she was taking it all in, pensive and reflective. The Lord’s voice came again, “Eric, don’t miss this, take this in, it’s a sacred moment.”
Three weeks after camp, Melissa went home to be with the Lord. She walked across a different bridge that connects this life to eternal life. Here was the email her leader sent to us:
With heavy hearts, we are passing on to you the news that our dear Melissa Grason, who attended the Capernaum Week with us, has lost her battle with cancer. She is now in the arms of Jesus, and cancer free! Upon returning home from Lost Canyon, Melissa’s doctors gave her 90 days, but she did not make it to 30 days. She passed away this last Monday, holding both her parents’ hands. Her mom and dad are deeply sad but so very relieved that she is no longer suffering.
On behalf of all of our leaders and on behalf of Melissa’s parents, we want to extend to you our deepest and most heartfelt gratitude for all of the many, many large and small ways you made Melissa’s (and her parent’s) week at Lost Canyon so very special. Her parents were so overwhelmed by everyone’s love and compassion. They treasure that week in their hearts! They saw Jesus so clearly in each of you!
In Melissa’s final moments, she was holding on and afraid to go. Her dad reminded her of her confession of faith at Lost Canyon at the Say-So club. He reminded her that she prayed to accept Jesus in her heart, and that she had stood up to tell everyone so. He told her that Jesus was waiting for her and that she could go to Him. Upon hearing this, Melissa went so very peacefully to her Savior. With tears in my eyes, I thank you, because ALL of you (and all of your WC and SS) had a part in this. For every word that was spoken, every smile that was bestowed, every dish that was washed, every harness that was secured, every song that was sung, and every prayer that was prayed spoke ETERNITY to this precious little one who was so very quickly on her way there.
Melissa was transformed into her heavenly body, and thus, I share about her sweet life on Transformation Friday.