This afternoon at 3:15 C shouted from across the hall at work, “Hannah!”
“Yes?!” Maybe I said this too eagerly. See, I was only reading Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad—the same book I’ve been reading for about a month now. It's just been a long time since C, or anyone, had called my name, expecting me to jump to attention. I jumped happily.
“D needs you to look at something and tell her what’s going on.”
So I nearly skipped down the hall to D’s office. My hopes of being productive were crushed [for a moment] because her question was answered by scrolling to the left in the Excel document. That was too, too easy. But then—joy!—she had a question. A question about a gage I needed to answer!
I went back to my office to try to figure it out, but it turned out to be a little more complicated than I had time to finish. You know what that means? I have work tomorrow.
Okay, I think I probably over-dramatized this little story. But one of the themes this summer has been doing nothing. (I told a friend, though, that I have been so thankful that my worth is in CHRIST, not in the things I do. Praise Him!)
I’ve done very little at work (although when I have done stuff, even menial engineering tasks that I barely understand, I have loved it! It’s been lots of fun to learn stuff I know little about.)
I haven’t accomplished any “projects” (although that was intentional. I realized that last summer I spent my time almost exclusively working on “projects” and barely any time with people or in the community.)
I have read a total of 3.5 books, which is a record LOW for my college summers, and I’ve been on the same book (mentioned above) for over four weeks.
I’ve been helping out at this daycare a couple of days every week after work, but it doesn’t seem like I’ve really built any meaningful relationships, which (to be honest) kind of was the goal—to learn and to talk with people who live in a totally different culture. I’ve learned some, and I’ve listened some, and I’ve had a lot of fun with the kids (and also been stressed out about my future in child-rearing one day) but my conversations are surface-deep.
One of 3.5 books I read this summer was Open Friendship in a Closed Society, by Peter Slade (and focusing on Mississippi). It was SO GOOD. I don’t really like reading people’s passionate summaries about books I haven’t read, so I’ll keep it to a minimum, but it was all about Community Development… with a bit of a twist. Intentional friendships between black people and white people. (That is, becoming friends with someone because she is black.) Does that sound weird? Jane Shibley would probably think so because she grew up in a place where race is not an issue. But in Mississippi, IT IS. Still. Here’s the thing (nothing new). We, the church, are called to be the whole body of Christ. We hear all the time about Christ being IN ALL THINGS, like communities and cultures.
Speaking generally, this means that even cultures that seem strange or backward, and even cultures where Christianity is totally foreign (or even hated), Jesus has not forsaken.
Speaking specifically in Mississippi, this means that we are to LOVE people who have a different skin color. And what’s more than that: we are to work hard to learn about their culture, and see what God has been doing, and learn from it.
It isn’t actually that natural. And I haven’t been doing a very good job. I have a feeling this is because my prayers are sporadic at best. I’ve been trying to do it on my own.
I hate these realizations, especially at the end of a season.
So what have I been doing?
I kicked off the summer with a bang by going to Jordan with a group from Covenant. Interested? Here's the album, complete with very thorough captions (because I've yet to put it on facebook):
|Jordan and Israel|
I’ve been spending loads of time with my parents. For most of the summer, Emily and Daniel were working at camp. Daniel has been back for two weeks. Almost every Wednesday, whoever is available has come here, to 61. (You’ll notice it’s Wednesday now.) Last Wednesday, we had a brief photo shoot.
I’ve been scurrying back and forth between Chattanooga and Vicksburg as much as I can (three times) to see a handsome fellow there. I even named my car “Sherman” after the general who made that trip infamous. Haha. Last weekend, that same handsome fellow (not Gen. Sherman) returned the favor!
I’ve been hanging out with the high school crowd at my church.
I've been working a bit on a cheap dresser, attempting to make it apartment-bedroom-presentable.
I thought I taught Sugar (our family dog) how to lay down, but it turns out Daniel taught that trick to her months ago. But nobody knew about it, so we were all shocked when she did it on command. Darn.
I have set up a google account (finally!) complete with google reader subscriptions, so since I get a feed from realclearpolitics.com, I now know what's going on around the US.
I've had a dozen minor meltdowns regarding WHAT IN THE WORLD I'M GOING TO DO AFTER I GRADUATE. Those have become less frequent, blessfully.
I can't wait to move back to Lookout Mountain SOON. But I can, and I will.
I can't count how many times I've said those three words this summer.
I can't wait.