In Him, All Things Hold Together

Today we get to hear from one of our summer staff team leaders, Lucy Kunz, as she shares with us what she learned through her time on staff! 

Hi! My name is Lucy Kunz, and I was a team leader at SOS this summer. God used the summer to mold me in ways that I desperately needed, but it started off a little rocky (like every good journey)! The first time I laid eyes on 2505 Poplar Ave. was when I pulled up to the wrong gate on staff arrival day, confused about how to get in and where all of the people were. When I drove around to the other side of the building and into the correct gate, I was met by the *slightly* enthusiastic returning summer staff clapping, shouting, and running up to my car. This introvert was a wee bit overwhelmed, and I wondered what in the world I had signed up for! But my Jesus is sweet, and His love and promises and vision for his world overwhelmed me in the best way throughout the summer.

When I look back on pre-summer Lucy, she had a pretty simplistic view of the gospel of Jesus: Jesus died on the cross to save our souls, and if we trust Him, we have abundant life here on earth and eternal life in heaven. This was not an un-truth, but it didn’t include every part of the truth. Throughout the summer, my campers and I talked about how we were all broken in different ways, but because of Jesus’ grace, we are brought back into the shalom that God intended. Then, we get to use the gifts that God has given us to participate in bringing His world back to the shalom that He intended. Repairing a broken roof or sitting by a lonely kid at lunch isn’t work in addition to the Gospel: it is the Gospel. I started to see these works of restoration as holy and important. I started to see an everyday kind of love and service as holy and important.

Another lesson I learned at SOS was of God’s provision and power to sustain. So many days, the work on the roof seemed impossible, or at least really, really hard. I had never roofed before - much less taught 12-18 year-olds to! Our training covered the basics, but what about all of the potential issues that could come up throughout the day? God directed me to the verse Colossians 1:17 early in the summer, and I held onto it: “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” God continually reminded me that He holds all things together, He knows the problems we will run into before we get to them, and He is the one in control, not me.

One final way God changed my heart this summer was in the way I saw myself. We talked frequently throughout the summer about the potluck approach to service: everybody has hunger (needs/brokenness) and everybody brings a dish to the table (experiences, skills and abilities given by God). I saw this in so many ways, in the jokes and encouragement from Mr. Ronnie, the homeowner I partnered with, and in the way my groups of campers worked together. The place I didn’t see it was in myself. I didn’t understand why and how God would want to use me in this position. I am an introvert, more of a behind-the-scenes person. I’m not your typical, energetic camp counselor. But what God spoke sweetly to my heart throughout the summer was that He loves me and intends for me to be a part of this Gospel work: here in Memphis and at my home in Columbia and wherever He sends me next. He loves me, and He created me uniquely to see needs that He created me to see and to love people through gentle encouragement and one-on-one conversations.

My heart more deeply knows God’s love for me and for all people because of my summer at SOS. And for that, I am thankful.

Summer Staffemily