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Once Upon a Bunk Bed with Jesus

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by Carla O’Brian.

The BELOVED women’s beach retreat was just two weeks ago, but the theme “REST, PLAY, CELEBRATE” still vibrates in my soul. 

I had the privilege of presenting the Saturday morning “PLAY” session to the ladies. Now, I consider myself quite an expert in this area. I recall being asked as a child, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I sincerely answered, “a kid.”

Let me explain. My definition of being a “kid” included fun and play, but most importantly it proclaimed to the world an attitude, a mindset that I wanted to hold on to. The freedom to embrace who I was uniquely made to be; and thus, feel liberated to play that out in my relationship with my creator.

I have always loved Jesus. I can distinctly remember as a child playing with Jesus. My favorite play activity was riding my bike with Him. It was a beauty, my 26 inch blue Schwinn. We were fast on that bike. Jesus and me. Wind blowing through my buster brown haircut, not a care in the world. 

I was reliving that memory at 2 am in the morning lying atop my bunk bed at the women’s retreat. It was a perfect illustration for the “playground” mindset. Free, trusting, intimate and most of all DEEP. I was going to share the story with the ladies in the morning, but of course, I was wide awake.

I was in the top bunk, or “penthouse” as I fondly love to describe it. I hadn’t experienced a bunk bed since I was a camp counselor in my much younger days. My fitted sheet wouldn’t stay fitted and I couldn’t get comfortable on my plastic lined twin mattress. I needed to potty, but I didn’t want to risk crawling down the ladder, so I listened to the constant parade of women traipsing to and from the bathroom. I tried to identify who each was because…well you know…I like to play.

Jesus and I hanging out in the top bunk. I went over my presentation. I tossed. I snickered about the scenario. But most of all I thanked God. I thanked Him for who He was and how He allowed me to be there, in that top bunk praising Him and praying for women. 

King David realized it when he declared in Psalm 84:10 – “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.”

Thank you, God, that you were there with me in my top bunk. With you, it is the penthouse.  Better is one day in a top bunk with Jesus than a thousand in a King -sized palace without you!

Play on BELOVED sisters.

Carla O’Brien is a feisty, full of faith woman who loves God with every cell in her being. You can not be around her without catching her contagious faith and vivacious love of life. She is a teacher, a coach and a believer in the power of Jesus to transform lives.  I know she will bless your socks off and make you smile!

– Cindy Grasso


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