This morning it was really hard to preach. At the first service, I almost broke down and wept, overwhelmed by all the death, terror and brokenness of our world. Some of it hits so close to home. Some of it is so incredibly large, complex and deep, going back generation, after generation, after generation–how can we ever draw closer to that reign of God Jesus talked about so eloquently?
I have thought often of my Hebrew Scriptures professor in these past months. I remember Mr. Griffin carefully, thoroughly, walking us through Genesis, helping the class wrap its mind around the notion that through this one book in the Bible, it is possible to trace how sin cascades, amplifies, ripples out in ways that simply devastate. I have never been and don’t imagine I’ll ever be a “hell and damnation” kind of person.But neither can I ignore how human brokenness and failure weaves its way to every corner of existence. Today, that knowledge comes close to paralyzing me.
When I got home after church, I allowed mysef the luxury of a Sunday afternoon nap and have been packing and preparing for tomorrow. That’s when I leave for Collegeville. Eight days of writing and exploration.
When I went on my first Ignatian silent retreat, my wonderful friend Robin recommended I take a camera as a way to look for God in everything. My camera is already in my backpack and I anticipate walks through the Minnesota spaces that I understand are deeply reminiscent of Scandinavia- In our beginning is our end and back again. I am profoundly thankful for this opportunity. I know how hard it is to get in and how hard it is to get a ‘no’. There are others far more gifted than I who have not been yet. I will use this time to the best of my ability, which is the only way I have to honor the gifts of writing they have offered so generously through the years.