so now i'm here in kc. gone from manhattan--a 6 year chapter of my life come to a close. it's been a lot to process emotionally. fortunately i haven't had time for any of that and i'm keeping busy enough to not have to dive into it all. sure that's not healthy. i'm not sure transitions ever are off the start. still, that's no excuse and i think it's important to take some time with these things.
one of the ways of doing that is while working. trust me while you're pulling a thousand staples out of a window frame over and over your mind isn't exactly riveted. it allows for lots of thoughts. we need to get some music up in there. but until then at least there is the beckoning silence.
there was something today with pulling off the plastic from all these windows. for years they have been sealed, cutting off the outside world and its cold winds and menacing bugs. no longer. as the plastic is pulled away, the neighborhood can really be seen for the first time in quite some time. the church is up on a hill so you can see a lot far away. and you can see a lot up close. the windows aren't so great. in fact they are pretty awful. thin glass single-paned for little to no insulation, that would matter more if it weren't for the many large gaps in every window. no screens. from the outside maybe it isn't so noticeable, the change in these windows, the removing of this plastic veil. but we are seeing much that is new.
relocation brings up lots of things. there is what is left behind. of course we aren't fully moved in yet so a lot of what i am leaving isn't fully left yet. but manhattan is gone. and it was a wonderful place. much of what made it wonderful was the people, and a lot of those whom i was closer to are leaving--so it's different now anyway. but that doesn't change that it's past and lost. it will always hold a special place in me.
we met a guy the other day--alex. one of the first of many we are sure to meet. even just talking with him in a short conversation i can see so much of how inept i am to understanding these people that live in a very different culture, which leaves me dependent on God for many things. so i enter that culture with humility, but i also have to be strong--for these people will push on you and try to get anything they can out of you. not all of course, but many. we have to know what we are about. and that's hard because we only know so much, and some of what we know is more what we are not about. i won't get into those things now though. maybe another time.
i also find myself thinking about comfort. i've been saying for years that i don't want to live a life that is just about keeping myself comfortable. of course, once you start to experience discomfort then a nice couch with low lighting and a big tv playing baseball in the background sounds pretty good. it's easy to get overwhelmed in this new place. there are lots of things, and probably even more we do not see. oppression comes quickly. the task seems daunting. the work seems never-ending. the cracked thin windows, the holes in the walls, the leaking roof, the collections of mold, the lead paint, the wasp nests inside the building, etc. it's a long list. but we're not there for that. the task is simple. love people. sure it's ok to spend some time getting things fixed up to make it more livable and all--but i don't want to just create a new place of comfort. no, that won't do. peace yes. that's different. livable. sure. i don't want to freeze in the winter or be stung by multiple wasps at night. but if i am, that's not the end of the world. put on a sweatshirt. hang a mosquito net :). and don't take with you the gods from the house of your father when you go out of the land and into someplace new. comfort be damned.
man i hope i don't eat those words too much.
move your life, not just your stuff.