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  • Writer's pictureManderson

You Should See the Way it Feels to Me

Updated: Apr 4, 2019

In my first two weeks in the first grade, over 50 years ago now, I remember wanting to beg the mother of one kid in the class to stay because he would immediately start wailing once she left his sight. He did that for two weeks! Little did I know that the wailing kid would wind up being my best friend and, eventually, my best man at my wedding.

Perspective is a curious thing.

I remember making a career move when I was 29 years old. Even though I wanted it, I felt woefully unprepared. My official date of hire with Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes, if you can believe, was April 1, 1989. No fooling!! April Fool’s Day, 30 years ago. That date was a Saturday. So, it was 30 years ago this very day (on April 3rd) that I showed up for my first day of work. I was the Director of the group home ministry for 27 years and have now served as President for 3 years.

Pre-Official Name Change to "Manderson"

Like I said, perspective is a curious thing. When I was given responsibility for the camps in 1996, I didn’t want them. I had plenty to do and I was not thrilled to be given more. Now, however, I can’t imagine what my life would be like without them. I am a better person for the contributions of others in my life and some of the greatest contributions have come from people associated with Special Friends Camp.

I can’t recall the exact date I was given the camps in 1996. But it very appropriately could have been April 1, because I was a fool to doubt or question the impact the camps would have on my life. You might say I lacked the necessary perspective. That’s because I tend to forget when the challenge is before me that God has been faithful in all the challenges behind me. On that first day of work 30 years ago or that first SFC nearly 25 years ago I could not have imagined the wonderful people I would be allowed to work with. I count the hundreds of campers and staff of Special Friends Camp among those wonderful people.

The perspective I have after 30 years cannot be adequately described. It’s like the David Wilcox song entitled “You should see the way it feels to me.” It’s a song about his simultaneous desire and futility of trying to describe riding down a steep hill on his bicycle as a child. When he returns to that place later in life to show a friend, he realizes that it had to be experienced. I touched on this in the previous blog about the “camp bubble.” My attempt to help you SEE how SFC FEELS may be a fruitless endeavor... and yet, I persist.

I will have some more to say about perspective(s) in the coming weeks. I hope you will come back to find out whether I’m able to successfully articulate how I feel or if I’m just being foolish...

“You Should See the Way it Feels to Me,” by David Wilcox

Well, I guess it’s not as high as I remember

It might not be a mountain after all

But it was hard enough to climb and steep enough to coast

Long enough to satisfy and fast enough to boast

It may look to you like nothing much to see

But you should see the way it feels to me

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