The moment the words left his mouth, he felt their impact. A lie is a heavy thing, a blackhole created by our words that devastates the trust in our relationships with others. This lie came out quickly in a self-defensive way. This facade immediately felt weighty indeed.
As he turned shoulder and walked out of the room he could feel the sad glances of his mother and father on his back. He felt numb. Each step further felt like the closing window of a guillotine blade falling briskly to the demise of the trust his parents had with him – the trust he had in himself. How did they find out? Is this the moment he starts lying to his parents?
Something caught him. He stopped.
The growing distance suddenly did not feel worth it. After all, he knew the truth; he was guilty! And their honest questions showed they were aware he was not being his normal self. He knew his parents really loved him and wanted the best for him.
He turned around and walked back into the room where his parents sat quiet and reflective.
“Hey, I’m sorry. I lied. I was out partying with my friends last night.”
Then something extraordinary happened. The blade lifted. The connection with his family was restored. A heavy weight left his shoulders and his parents sighed in tremendous relief. The hug hi parents gave him after that really hit home. Their embrace felt so free, real, and authentic.
There would be a cost for his lie, and he would have to rebuild the space of sacred trust with his parents through some just punishments and displaying a renewed obedience and unity with his family. Being grounded would be easier to bear because this young man would now know he was maintaining the respect and friendship of his mother, father, and his family. He couldn’t abide the suffering of being isolated from them. He also learned his younger siblings deserved a good example, and he was the only one who could occupy the “big brother” space and share that with them.
This story is true, and it reflects the real life experience of one of our beloved campers. What I love about this story is that it reveals a beautiful integrity of the heart. Through speaking the truth in a difficult moment, this young Chosman affirmed that he belonged to a family and was subject to their familial moral codes and culture. These family norms are shared and practiced to help him and his siblings grow into good and happy men and women, capable of holding others to standards that help them grow in the right direction. The seed of this integrity was sown and cared for in the midst of a loving family. This is something that must be preserved and protected. Without families, the fundamental pockets of rich personal growth in society, determined to teach the young the importance of living a life oriented toward honoring the truth wherever it is found, all of society hurts.
At Kahdalea and Chosatonga, we hope to illustrate the tremendous value of speaking the truth to our campers. Through the careful selection of our staff, we station important sentinels and ministers amongst all the children who pass through our gates and call them forward to be models for the young, showing them what it means to honor the truth with their lives.
Where truth is lived out and spoken plainly, you cannot help but find healthy friendships grown. Beautiful relationships blossom amidst the natural sustenance of trust, kind words, and healthy activity. We hope our camp family can continue to be a fruitful garden which nourishes the many members of so many families that come to enjoy it! What treasures will not grow when we learn to speak the truth with one another?