My time in Birmingham has come to completion.
For five years I have been living in Alabama as a student, a waiter and a minister at an amazing little experiment in Christian community called Tapestry of Hope. As I sit at my computer this morning, I have seen two out of those three come to a close. I technically got what I came out here for a year ago this past May when I graduated from Beeson Divinity and in the intervening year I have been praying for and lending a hand to see our little community blossom into the full-orbed home for prodigals coming home. Last night was our final time together as a worshipping community and today I am experiencing the reality of a life as a pastor. It is time to move on.
Over these past few months I have been praying that the Spirit will still my heart and mind for long enough that I can hear his voice. He always speaks to me but most of the time I am preoccupied by a Giants game or a new album to hear what he has to say. These last few months have been about slowing down and listening to the voice of the God that is for me. After many tears, times of reflection, questions to those I trust and figuring, I am headed back out to the West Coast, Seattle, to be exact.
You know, the relationship between writer and reader is something that I am finding to be sort of complex and really funny. Just last night, my friend Scott reminded me that I have not mentioned him in a post for a while and I kind of laughed. When was the last time you were in a post? I change the names of my friends before I write for the most part, so I could not remember specifically mentioning him. He reminded me of when he believed he had shown up…yep, he was definitely that character!
But I do feel such a personal connection to anybody who reads because I am creating something. It may not be Shakespeare, but to create anything, you are giving a part of yourself to however many or few stumble upon it. I do feel a real personal connection to my readers, then, because I am giving myself to you and you are giving yourself to me by spending time with what I have written. There is this personal connection that I feel and I want to let you in as much as I can.
That may make no sense, but this whole self-awareness thing is not what I do best and it can all too quickly become self-aggrandizing crap. Journals and diaries are different than even the most intentionally honest blog posts. So there’s that.
Why Seattle? Good question. When I was 18 I moved for school. When I was 22 I moved for school. Now I am 27 and I am moving for love. I have not read the end of this story so I cannot give you a clean resolution just yet. I am just living the story the Lord has given me. I am afraid of a lot of things but I am not paralyzed. I know that God loves me. I know he is with me. I know he will never leave me or forsake me. I know God is for me.
So on Friday morning I am leaving Birmingham, saying goodbye to the home that the Lord has given me and I’m traveling out West. What’s the world got in store? Just gonna have to live a bit longer and see.
And, don’t worry, dear reader, I’ll keep you up to date.