Today is the feast of Pentecost in western churches. I'm a huge fan of Pentecost - mostly because I'm a huge fan of the Holy Spirit. I shared last week some of the art Helen and I made at the table, and I really enjoyed walking into the church this morning to see so many other contributions as well as watching Helen set up the front piece that had coloured crepe paper and shields with the symbols of the apostles on them representing their reception of the Holy Spirit. Dottie was sitting next to me this morning, and her eyes are a bit weak after nine decades of life, so I was describing the installation to her, but I realised I could only guess which apostle some of the shield represented. The upside down cross with keys was the only one I was confident of however, knowing Peter was given "keys" by Christ and according to church history was crucified upside down. I told Dottie I'd need to look up the rest when I got home. I guessed a few others, but I was embarrassingly off, so I won't elaborate.
Three of my poems were on display with art from Tessa, and I had a couple of people come tell me how powerful they thought the words were. I also had a few thank me for reading the Scripture, and one friend in particular came to pray for me after the service. I shared with her after that my default during prayer is now to turn my open hands up because she taught me the posture of receiving when we come to the Lord in prayer. It was a simple comment that we each gave each other, but there was a moment of feasting - of celebrating the Holy Spirit at work in and through each of us.
We finished classes at school this week and have begun final exams and goodbyes. I have had the opportunity to have a couple of intentional goodbye moments with students I am close to, and I value the on purpose affirmation that I value having them in my life. In typical TCK fashion, a couple of them have already told me, "I'm really bad at keeping in touch with people when I leave, but I want you to know I appreciate you." Some of them will use their bridge with me regularly and call or text while others may not reach out, but I can still feast in this time and celebrate the good things the Holy Spirit has gifted us with during the time we shared in Kandern.
I also have a decade's perspective of student ministry, and I am so excited to watch some of these students blossom when they are planted in a new place. I know I've already seen that with so many alumni, and I love the chance to connect with them again. Just last night I was on a call with a 2018 grad who is in between her undergrad and graduate programs in California. She and I were planning out an epic road trip for this summer which as been a huge answer to prayers. I've avoided posting almost anything about my trip to America publicly because so many plans have fallen through, but it looks like I'll be able to visit most of the people I'd hoped to see and a couple will get to come visit me. (Shara, I'm so bummed Dallas is just so far away from everything.)
Portland peeps, I'll be there roughly July 4-10, so I hope to see as many people as possible in that time. Colorado friends, I've got much more time there this visit, so I'll get to spend more time with all of you scattered around.
This is the first time I've been back to visit America in four years, so I hope to show off a lot of physical progress, but I'm also being realistic with the confusing nature of my disability. Today my right leg was spasming for unknown reasons, and I struggled to find a solution to relieve the pain. However, this annoying discomfort does not diminish the joy that I have in celebrating my students, the Holy Spirit, and the upcoming visit to America. There's a lot of good in life, and I will be intentional to enjoy it today.