Christianity/Religion Family Friends Photography

The Hole

There is a hole here–here in Santa Maria–here at the camp meeting. It hovers over the sum of the thing, extending its vacuous, invisible tendrils in a hang that floats over the big tent; and of greater consequence than the tent, are the hearts, for the hole is a canyon whose gap tears at us; likely not all the hearts, for there are some who are oblivious, but into a slew of hearts, and I tell you frankly, into mine.

I’ve hesitated over writing such a piece, and even as I tap the computer keys, I’m not sure I will have the (excuse me for the crudeness) “guts” to press the submit button. But I’m pretty gutsy, and honesty is important to me, and while I know one does not have to blurt out every thought, nor discuss each mundane (or otherwise) personal issue to be honest, and I do understand there are things best left unsaid, this happening is such a vital part of me, and so tearing at my soul, I feel most compelled to write.

It may be a conglomerate of happenings that have fed into my angst; I know for sure of a couple  that are contributing to my unease: None of my grandkids are here, and none of them will be here, and if you recall last year, youngsters were tearing around by the score and there were tents set up beside our motor home and Rebecca was sleeping on our couch, and Thane had his 5th birthday cake on the picnic table outside, and it was controlled, exuberant confusion.

Andrew and his brood can’t be here, for his job situation forced him into work this week. At the last minute, Rebecca had a scheduling problem and she and Nathaniel can’t come. Steve and Dearrah aren’t coming, but…hang on…one glitter of light…Michael will be here this morning…but with no grandkids.:(

And could this sense of loss I’m feeling be connected to my recent birthday when I turned 70? I don’t think that to be the case, but I’m trying to analyze everything, for with all candor, I feel awful.

I won’t stay with this feeling, I promise you, and more importantly I promise myself, for despite the ugly hole, there are positive elements in the atmosphere and I’m wise enough to look forward and anticipate such development. Overarching the chasm are Truth and Stability and Faith.

Some of you understand on the flash, for you too observe the gorge and its ugliness. Notable are you who have helped carve the gaping place, or slipped into its edges: You went kicking or screaming, or silently, or feeling helpless at its creation. Others may see the hole as a glittering place; you occupy the ground from which the hole was dug. You’re the new, the fresh, the launcher, the pioneer. But wait, you there on the excavated mound, you too may sense hole and loss, I give you that, while on the very moment you are giddy with the spinning of precision, and inoculated with faithfulness to honor and to principle. You wear the mantle of discovery and of intrepid and bold architect. I understand that, truly I do, and you know I admire your many abilities, your intellect, your passion, your preaching.

But yet remains the hole.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 81 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 64 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

17 replies on “The Hole”

Yeah, I guess I missed the point on this too. Though from some of the other commenters, I can surmise, but I just don’t “get it.” I read this several days ago but was afraid to comment that I didn’t understand.

Now, I just wanted to write and tell you that I love you and that I am praying for you. **hugs**

God Bless!


Hmm, this post is a puzzle to those of us who don’t know what’s going on. But I have some comments anyway. Maybe not knowing what you’re talking about, specifically, will be a commentator’s boon.

You’re at family camp, and family and friends are missing. That’s a hole. And some sort of schism has occurred or is occurring; that’s a hole. What I have to say about holes, absence, loss, and schism, is that Jesus asked Thomas to put his fingers and hands into the holes in Jesus’ hands and side, and see for himself.

Jesus Christ holds our holes in his wounds, and carries all of us. Just as in The Matrix they said “there is no spoon,” I’m going to say “there is no hole.” There’s only one, whole, church universal and triumphant, and we’re in it because we’re in Christ. God bless all of you, and let’s focus on love and truth.


Schisms are always awful for everyone concerned. Always have been. Always will be. I am sorry the HOLE is there. Division among Christians is always bad, no matter what the people are fighting about.


What happened to the purpose of The Church? Winning the lost, preparing for the rapture, helping the needy, feeding the poor, visiting the sick, etc. THE PURPOSE OF THE CHURCH.
Has politics taken over even here? I’m afraid so. The “hole” is so totally not necessary. Every pastor has the right to their own convictions and to ask their individual congrecations to honor. THE HOLE WAS SO UNNESSARY. Sorry, just had to give my take on this.
I was not at campmeeting but I can imagine the HOLE. Sis. Buxton, we just have to “keep on keeping on”. Love you


….can relate, understand, have experienced it, do empathize and do thank you for being so discreet, yet honest, in dealing with such a hurtful issue.

My state fell in the hole about 4 years back, my family was almost torn apart over the “whole,” but God has been faithful. Healing has come and first we love God and the work of God, second we love each other, no matter what comes.

Love you!


A Hole!
I have also seen this hole or a vacuum which is pulling friends and families into its center. I stand and look at this hole / vacuum and wonder what will be the outcome. Will those who are being drawn into this vortex ever be able to find the edge and exit this vortex? More questions than answers! I have many friends who are moving into and around this hole / vacuum/ vortex. My heart hurts within me when I think of them or see them.

I will quote the words of Peter from the last lecture, “When there is an elephant in the room acknowledge it.” Sis. Buxton, you have done an excellent job of acknowledge the elephant in or at our camp. .

Thank you.



I understand! It’s terrible when people allow this to happen in their hearts. I’m sorry for your losses. It hurts deeper than anyone can imagine, unless they have been down in this “hole”!


I hate this hole. Hate that it had to come to this. Hate the impact it’s having on my family and friends. Aggravated by the situations which caused this hole!

I have decided that this will not change my friendships in any way. I have not changed, and my friends have not changed. Decisions were made which I did not participate in, yet they have an impact on my life and the life of many whom I love. So be it. I remain the same person, and will continue to surround myself with good friends – regardless of this messy hole!


A gaping, yawing hole achingly felt by many families up and down the West Coast, as well as other areas of the U.S.!! I am one with that aching hole felt in the middle of my family dynamics. To me, it is a shame that it ever came to this! I have been around this all my life and never expected to find myself anywhere around this span. But here I am, to some standing on the excavated soil, to others buried under that same soil. God help us ALL to be faithful, true, steadfast, honorable, gentle, loving towards those affected by this widening span.

I love you, truly. Thank you for having the “guts” to write how you feel.



And a great man said….I cant stay on this mountaintop….I got to go back to the valley!!

Come down from the mountain top long enough to challenge, to stir, to impassion all of us low landers.

Just dont quit writing!!


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