first day of school
I've begun saying this homemade blessing with the kids as they go out the door in the morning:
"Go with Jesus; He is with you. Also, the Father and the SpiritI tell them this because I want to remind them they are walking with an invisible company, a Fellowship. I also tell them this because I want them to be prepared to hit the intense emotion of the day, the moments they need to make a decision to hide or to connect, I want them to imagine the presence of this community standing with them in that very moment. I want this talk of community to settle down deeply into their imaginations, into their souls in the very tangible, daily moments such as these. To grab onto the intercession of the saints like a zipline plunging into the moment and swinging back up the other side, wind-blown and flip-flopped, maybe, but full of fresh energy, joy, humour, strength.
And all the people praying for you from Christ Church and Union Center
and all our family and friends.
Even the angels and the saints
in heaven are with you.
You are not alone."
This is no small hope. This is the hope of our lives, yes? To know and be known in our daily, walking-around, eating and drinking selves. To be fully alive in the Presence of love.
It occurs to me that hospitality has a rhythm of movement less careening than a zipline, perhaps, but the motion is the same: take hold warmly to receive, move together in the same direction, and release with a hearty sending out until next time. Our family has hung on fast to this sort of breathtaking hospitality these past months. As were driving cross country, our miniature caravan rumbling alongside tractor trailers sharing the highways of the the heartland, there were moments I literally felt like we were being carried, handed over from one community into the next waiting to embrace us.
Sometimes this was tangible, both Brian and I juggling calls and texts from our New York community wrapping up loose ends we had to leave behind and, simultaneously, from our Texas community preparing details for our arrival. Even in the desolate Arkansas interstate we were joined by this community sharing the experience with us from their places northeast and southwest of us. Texts flying in like a dozen Gabriel visitations.
Company for the road.
Now we unpack boxes and stories, hoping to find a place for everything we carried into this city. We browse furniture stores and faces, choosing soft places to land, pieces and people that fit just right. Company for the everyday. Community for the lonesome.