They were only colored slips of paper, that hung wistfully in the in the wind, hanging by small safety pins on the dark cloth that lined the tent. And though the slips of paper hung playfully, with the different colors brightly displayed, there was a heaviness about these slips of paper. Physically, they were each as light as feathers. But emotionally and spiritually, they hung heavily, like lead.
We’ve noticed there are a lot of people that walk around with secrets and shame, and it is heavy on their hearts. We believe that God calls us to be a community of honesty where we can feel safe in letting go of these secrets. We wanted to make a place where you could feel safe and get things off your chest anonymously. We believe acknowledging these secrets and shame is a first step in the healing process for many of these things… and we want to walk with MiraCosta in facing its brokenness and bringing it God, the only one who can heal it.
That was roughly our script, how we, the staff and student leaders talked to people looking at the tent. It was how we prepared ourselves to have conversations and pray for people. But honestly, even I wasn’t prepared to be exposed to the fullness of MiraCosta’s brokenness. The outside of the tent was heavy with sexual brokenness, relational betrayal, anger at God, sin, and heartache. Rape, cheating, doubt, divorce, bitterness- it was all there, uncensored. Even the immature secrets and people trying to be funny revealed a certain brokenness in itself. I sat in disbelief. These weren’t just random slips of paper with writing on them, but they were real people… people that I walk right by, people I sit next to in the cafeteria, that I see in the parking lot, that my students take classes with… and even my own students.
Yes, we got to pray for several students coming out of the tent. I even got to share the gospel with a guy who had felt “drawn” to the tent by some “force” (pray I see him again and get to have more conversations). But I think the biggest thing that happened with this tent was God trying to make us aware.
Aware. Aware that MiraCosta and CSU San Marcos are such broken places. And that He mourns for each and every student and their brokenness. But he doesn’t just mourn. No. I can see Him lift His tear stained face out of His hands with fire in His eyes… A gentle yet fierce flickering in His pupils, burning with love, compassion and anger that His creation must live under the bondage of sin. He looks up with hope, confidence, victory and vitality, as he raises his tear soaked hands to show the holes in His wrists. “I did it for these secrets. I did it so you can be free. I was born into a world soaked with these secrets. I walked and lived among all of the secrets so you would know I cared. I died so that you could be set free from the secrets. I came back from the dead because another world is possible where My children no longer have to live like slaves to their secrets.”
Ultimately, although we were made aware of God’s heartbreak for MiraCosta, that was not the point. The point was to be aware that our God is able to and desires to set the students of North County San Diego free. The point was to be made aware of God’s dreams for the campus. Pray that we do not forget this. Pray for our students and us the staff. I am going to lead our students into a season of fasting and prayer for MiraCosta this Friday. Pray that God would continue to show us His heart.
Here are some pictures of the secrets on our tent. I ask that as you look at these different pictures, don’t just gawk at them in shock. Instead, pray for the students of North County San Diego and perhaps even join us in this season of fasting.