The gentle current of God’s will washes over every interaction. Like a river, we rush by the uncomfortable emotions, tension, and conflict.
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Wisdom for the Way
In the mountains of Western North Carolina, the grass is growing again, the birds have returned, the carpenter bees are eating a perfect circle in the railing of my front porch. Spring has returned. The nights are soft and clear, and a certain yearning has returned to my heart. I love to wander under the twilight sky, deep into the evening—because, in the twilight, I can inhabit an edge.
Hospitality is not just a kind smile or nice refreshments, though those are certainly important. It’s not glamorous most of the time—like putting enough paper towels in the restroom. More often hospitality is noticed by its lack than its presence. How do we create a space in which people feel they belong to something bigger than themselves and are an integral part of what happens there—that each item is provided for you, individually, as well as for the community?
We made several significant changes to Launch & Lead during our redesign a few years ago. We were particularly excited about the possibilities created by hosting all fall and spring workshops at the same time and place. This meant that everyone participating in Launch & Lead would have the opportunity to meet and connect with everyone else, regardless of where they are in the process.
As we have journeyed through lent together, we have only seen the backs of people’s heads in our images. Their faces have been left unseen by us. They have walked on away from us into the unknown, leaving us to ponder and ask, “Who are they? Where are they going? What are their names? What might it be like to see their face?”
There is something deep in the naming of a child. My husband and I have named five children, and not once did we do so lightly. We scoured baby-name books, made sure the middle names fit phonetically with the first names, screened favorite names for unfortunate meanings, and, even after all that, my hand shook as I wrote each new name down on the blue birth certificate form. After all, our names shape us.
This is week five. We are more than half way through our Lenten Journey, and I am hearing the rustling of plans.
Are you coming here for Easter? What should we eat? Do the kids have new outfits? Shoes? Easter baskets?
Easter isn't here yet, but it is close enough to be nudging its way in.
In the British science fiction show, Doctor Who, the Doctor is a Time Lord who can cheat death by a process called regeneration. He (and now she!) has been played by thirteen actors, allowing Doctor Who to be tv’s longest running sci fi program. With each new regeneration, the Doctor takes an episode to get reacquainted with the new body, new personality, and new preferences. Usually in the midst of a high stress, world-saving dilemma, while using that top-notch brain to devise a clever solution, the Doctor is in the midst of the chaos, figuring out who s/he is now.
This past summer, I left my beloved community at the Bonhoeffer House to move to Wichita, Kansas. As I said goodbye to my friends and family to go to a new place, I noticed a recurring question rising up within me, “Will I be able to make any friends in this new place?” After years of having a strong community around me, I was afraid that I would be alone and lonely…Why is it that we are afraid of being alone?
A woman stood at the mouth of a cave. Any beauty her face would hold tomorrow had turned to gray, stern grief overnight. Her hair lay raggedly on her shoulders; her feet were dusty. She felt dry and limp—too exhausted to scrape together enough spirit to form tears, but, unbelievably, she could feel them soaking into the neck of her cloak.
We are proud to introduce our new podcast, “The Neighbor Next Door.” This is a podcast where we interview awesome neighbors to learn from them and be inspired by them. We also share neighboring tips along with the stories behind those tips. And sometimes we play folk music!
As a contemplative myself, I am always interested when people talk about silence. For most, a time of silence is about withdrawal from the everyday world for a time of introspection. It is quite common for people to describe a time of silence wistfully, as if it were some unachievable goal. When I suggest getting up a little earlier, or going to bed a few minutes later, or setting an alarm during the day, people often smile and set the idea aside, unwilling to devote any time in their schedule for something as self-indulgent as a quiet time for themselves.