Words of Hope: Little Things

One of Dad’s favorite sayings was, “Yard by yard, life is hard, but inch by inch, life’s a cinch.” Dad would often counsel me on a project that felt overwhelming to take one step at a time. Make one phone call, write one note, show love to one person. I remember talking with him about camp this summer where a girl had a spiritual breakthrough. He said to me, “The gift of just one person coming to transformation is enough.”  

Dad had a dream of NBC Camps, but he knew if he needed to get ten kids, he needed to make 100 calls. This dedication toward each small step helped him grow NBC Camps from a little camp in an unheard-of Cusick, Washington, to over 50 locations in six countries. For him, campers didn’t represent a number but a name and a story and beautiful life. We have a slogan at NBC Camps that we use for staff training, “Every camper has a name and a need.” This is how we can love and serve others by calling people by their name and listening to their need to belong, be loved, and be part of a community.  

Dad loved visual images. He used candle lighting to show how one person’s light can bring light to the world. One candle seems underwhelming in a vast dark gym, but as each camper or staff takes their tiny candle and lights the person’s candle next to them, eventually, the entire field house is glowing with light.

Dad was a master at lighting someone’s candle. From his little notes, a loving text, a quick, meaningful voicemail message, Dad shared his light. Many of you may have a note from Dad or a message still saved on your phone. This little message of Dad’s love to you is a reminder that one candle can light the darkness, one song can break the loneliness, one moment is all we need to give love in a small way that heals the world.

“Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it.” – John 1:5