I spend a lot of my time these days out at a baseball field cheering on my seven year old son and his all-star team, the Stingrays. I enjoy watching them play and cheering them on. One thing I do NOT enjoy is the unbearable heat that comes with June in Atlanta, GA. There is certainly a reason people have nicknamed this great city “HOTlanta.”
I am actually NOT complaining about the heat. It is fine. I have great perspective after living in Minnesota for 7 years. Truly I would rather sweat than freeze any day of the week. However, in the same way it is essential to take cover indoors when the Minnesota temperature plummets below zero in January, it is equally as essential to take cover in shade when you are out in the 100 degree temperatures of June in North Georgia.
The Stingray parents have wised up to this survival strategy and invested in some large canopies to shade our bleachers. It is AMAZING the amount of relief one can experience by simply taking refuge under the shade of one of these canopies. Granted it is still hot and humid but there is great comfort when the sun is not directly shining down on you.
When families come to a Legacy Retreat we want them to find some rest in the shade. Clearly we cannot change their circumstances and many of them still have to “feel the heat” of their illnesses, side effects and burdens while on vacation. However, we hope to provide a great shelter where they can find relief and rest. For many of them this retreat truly is a means of survival as they find hope, encouragement, and new strength for their fights. They also will find a community (or team) of fellow all-stars that know what the heat feels like who will be sitting next to them cheering with all their hearts.
I can’t wait to open up our big Inheritance of Hope canopy next Saturday to 16 families from all over the country. Please pray that they find sweet rest, restoration, hope and community in the “shade” we strive to provide.