Washing hands with a bar of white soap. Eating off fiesta ware. Open windows and blinds that sway with the breeze. Laundry hanging on a line. Singing loudly to good music in the car. Laughter. The God card. Fine, organic, natural food. Genevive. “America’s Next Top Model.” Reading outside under the shade of the gracious trees. Climbing in the hammock and telling prophecies of our future lives. French words. The New York Times. The compost pile. Refined language. Shucking corn. A doe and her fawns in the front yard. The quietness of the soul.
These are the images from my Labor Day weekend; I went home with Catherine, joined by roommate Kathryn. It was a lovely and peaceful day and a half. Staying with the Steddum’s was the ideal sojourn from a thoroughly demanding start to my sophomore year. I haven’t felt that peaceful since I came to school.
I am sitting at Caribou (in the fish room) with Kathryn and Catherine now (the three of us have been inseparable since school started, give or take a few hours). We’ve been here since I don’t know when, but it’s been a long time. As Kathryn asserts, “If you want to get anything worthwhile at college, you’ve got to get up early.” So we woke up earlier than we normally would on a school-less day and hiked over to Caribou since the Union and all of the libraries are closed. Now the two of them are standing up and pounding their thighs with their fists. Kathryn explains: “It’s the poor man’s massage.” I have no idea what is going on with the two of them… now they’re talking about microwaving rocks. And, “Do your muscles ever itch?” “Nope. That never happens to me. It only happens to psychos.” They giggle. Now they are hitting their legs and trying to get each other to guess which song they are beating out. Oh. My friends.
Yesterday morning we went to Vintage21 (creators of the entirely amazing Jesus videos) for church and I really enjoyed it. I confess I went there with preconceived notions. I went there expecting it to be just another GenX, yuppie church catered to seekers and twentysomethings, complete with performance-like rock music and a watered down Gospel. While they did clearly cater to seekers and twentysomethings, they didn’t dilute the Gospel. On the contrary, the flat out preached it, with fervent sincerity and faithful incorporation of scripture. I was sincerely touched by the message and it cut my heart. Rob, the visiting pastor, spoke about 2 Corinthians 5, being ambassadors for Christ. It is a passage that could have easily slipped into clichéd Christianese, but there was such authenticity and such zeal in his words—the Gospel was real to him. It colored his world. And as he spoke I longed for it to color mine. I would like to go back again, if providence allows.
Tonight we have our first small group for freshmen women. I am very excited, but also nervous. What if they don’t like it? What if no one comes back? Many fears dart in and out, but I rest in the Lord’s strength, as I have been more than ever these past two weeks. I cling to His promises. He will not abandon the works of His hands.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4