In my late teens and early 20's Quaker Lake was not just a place I worked in the summer; it was a place of sanctuary for me and my friends. When life was stressful and we needed to "get away" we would call Neal and ask if we could come down and spend a night or two. When the forecasters called for a big snow, we would drive the 25 miles to QLC hoping to get snowed in there. There were times when I would drive down and just walk around by myself, exploring the woods and visiting the Campfire Circle. In many ways, Quaker Lake was home.
So when all of the politics and turmoil (see yesterday's posting) that was North Carolina Yearly Meeting of Friends in 1982 came to Quaker Lake the week after Christmas for the annual Winter Camp, I was nervous. And I was not alone. There was great debate at New Garden Friends Meeting as to whether or not we should even take our youth. But we did. And while the program and speakers were very different than what we were used to, it was not awful- until the last night. The speakers/musicians they brought in spent an hour telling us all we would burn in hell if we didn't respond to their invitation to give our hearts to Jesus. Many of us came from backgrounds that taught us that following Jesus was a life long spiritual journey, not a pressured, spur of the moment decision. We were not even given any time to sit in silence and pray about our choice. So we didn't raise our hands. And the leaders became angry. They again reminded us that if we didn't act at that moment, hell awaited. I was distraught; the 14-17 year old students from a similar background were horrified. I wrote a song late that night that tells the story; few have ever heard it, but I share it with you now. The opening tag is at the top of this posting, the rest is below. It's called Back Home.
Because of Jesus,