The other day I got an email about possibly speaking in Ireland. I would love to do that and think it would be hilarious to do the first Stuff Christians Like roadshow, which does involve Skittles but not eagles, in Ireland instead of Atlanta where I am from. But I have a serious question for all of you, do I have to make people cry on the last night of the speaking engagement?
That is how camp was for me. There were a few things that you knew were going to happen every year:
1. A prank would get out of control and I would have to apologize to several people.
2. The cooks would cover food with a layer of cheese to make you think you hadn’t eaten the same thing the day before.
3. The main speaker would make you cry on the last night.
Now, I have to make a distinction about the crying. There are really two types when it comes to the last night:
1. Camp is over.
This is when you cry because you are going to miss everyone you hung out with. You go ahead and pretend that you’ll stay close throughout the year and you’ll email and pray for each other, but you won’t. You’ll add them on facebook, cry when they sing “Friends are Friends forever” and then go home an completely, almost instantaneously forget about ole what’s her name. It’s like Toad the Wet Sprocket sang in “Walk on the Ocean,” “We said we’d send letters and all those little things. They knew we were lying. They smiled just the same.”
2. The elbow of guilt.
This is when you cry because the main speaker drops an elbow of guilt on you. He or she has had you on the ropes all week, doing some solid ministering building up slowly to the main event, but on Saturday night they unleash their A game. This is the moment when they ask you to lay something down at the foot of the cross. Or give something to God, which is of course either your CDs or your boyfriend.
So I guess my question is, do you want to cry if I come speak? I mean, I can make it happen. I’ll probably lead off by doing a few minutes of silence where I just have words written on big note cards. I’ve seen that cardboard testimonies video a lot. (An inspiration they might have gotten from Brandon Heath, who took it from INXS, who took it from Bob Dylan.) But my version is going to be like that scene from the movie “Love Actually.” And then, I’ll probably tell you a touching story about my pet rabbit that died, Elizabeth Floppystill III, saving the life of an elderly woman in my neighborhood. Then I’ll show you pictures of my kids and play the syrupy song “Butterfly Kisses.” And then I’ll end by saying God wants you to give up your Wii’s and Xboxes, to me.
It is going to be awesome.
p.s. Yes, that is Dawson. Joey dumped him after camp. It was brutal.