I turned 40 today which means that I finally have an excuse for my crankiness and I also have the duty to share all of my gathered wisdom with an unsuspecting world. So here are 40 thoughts that no one asked for in no particular order.
Two days ago, the Lester family marked the one year anniversary of our arrival in the US. I cannot believe it has been a year! We arrived tired, smelly, confused and a little fearful and have more or less remained in that state for the rest of the year. It has been a most marvelous adventure!
Dear friends, what if we became the kind of community that our neighbors desperately long for? The kind of place where they wouldn’t need to be Wonder Woman and wouldn’t need confidence juice to enter into, but where it would be okay to be just them, even if just them isn’t okay at all. We can be that sort of a people collectively if we start to just do it individually.
I am more and more persuaded that truly engaged and fully present listening is a gift that Christians could give uniquely to the world, as we of all people aren’t constantly clambering to be heard. Listening is a sacred thing. I think it might be a spiritual discipline actually. Let’s be quick to listen to one another.
What we have realized though is that to arrive somewhere is simultaneously to leave somewhere else, and that in order to be immigrants to somewhere you also have to be emigrants from somewhere else. Our desire therefore hasn’t just been to be good arrivers in a new place, but also to be good leavers of our previous place.
We are finding our feet. We love our new home, we are enjoying our new city, and we are thriving in our new church, but that doesn't mean that we don't feel deeply for what we have left behind. You can be excited about where you are and sad about where you left all at the same time. We're human. We are complex like that.
It's a funny thing, place. It is true that you take yourself with you wherever you go, but it is also true that where you go isn't where you are from. Here isn't there, and here has been very good to us. I am sure there will be too.