Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Life in a capsule

Yes, I know that it’s been over a month since I last updated this monster. I do own a calendar. There has just been a LOT of things going on, things that I should have documented, because there were some pretty cool memories that have sort of faded now. So instead of me trying to rack my brain for many things than only I might find interesting, let’s just do a cheesy 1980’s montage video of the greatest moments of February 20 – March 25, 2008:

February 22-24: 2008 East Coast Conference on Hunger and Homelessness, hosted by the University of Miami. This was one of the major projects that my tenure here at Miami has been focused on, and while I can’t speak a lot about the National Sponsors (for fear of a libel suit), the students who worked with me on this were amazing. At the risk of sounding kind of uber-spiritual, this weekend was a remarkably uplifting time for me, because I got to see issues that I have become incredibly passionate about come to the forefront, and the simple fact that I was encouraged and supported by my home church (Mosaic), friends at the church who came to attend the conference, and two of the campus ministries here at the University of Miami…well, letting me know that Shane Claiborne and I are not the only two crazy Christians in the world who think there is a lot wrong out there that we should be doing more to fix was comforting. The issues brought forth at the conference – everything from dealing with extreme poverty to sustainable water projects – are heart topics that I have had a huge draw towards since I was around 17, and none of that passion for seeing justice and healing brought to this world has abated. It was INSANE to learn how many people share a joined desire for renewal – and to learn how many of these people see this through a lens of faith. As Kevin (my pastor/friend at Mosaic) stated, it was a remarkable moment to see just how God allowed me to leverage my position here at Miami for the Kingdom for a season.

March 8, 2008: The wedding of Kenny & Katie Anthony. No, “Anthony” wasn’t her maiden name, but it’s her name now. This was an absolutely beautiful testament of redemption and a time of sincere, humble tears of appreciation and joy shed in admiration and thanks to God for His moving in the life of my brother, my former roommate, and my friend Kenny – as he and I both have had frightening similar life paths with only moderate divergent details (small things, like how he’s been in the military for half of his life, whereas I’m just a geek), this union was yet another demonstration of how if God has a plan for your life, no matter what curveballs and life blows that you are dealt, that plan will be seen through to fruition. I consider myself incredibly blessed that we have been a part of one another’s lives for so long, through the good, the bad, the gut-wrenching moments, and the times when we both almost collapsed in tears into one another’s arms in a brotherly embrace as we felt the weight of the world tearing us apart emotionally, spiritually, and physically…

As Bono would say, it was a beautiful day. But dude – didja have to crib SO MANY details and ideas from MY wedding?!? ;)

March 9-12, 2008: National Association of Student Personnel Administrators 2008 Conference, Boston, MA. Ashley and I went to Boston for professional development. We toured the Sam Adams Manufacturing Plant one afternoon. Those two sentences are not as incongruous as one might be lead to believe by simply looking at them at face value.

March 23, 2008: Communion Time. That Thing @ 8. The Bible study/small group/home church/non-classified group of students who meet in mine and Ashley’s apartment on Sunday nights. The little thing that almost wasn’t. We took part in the Eucharist (or, should you prefer, the Last Supper aka the Lord’s Supper) as a group on Sunday night. For many of these kids, this was the first time they’ve done so outside of a VERY regimented, formalized religious structure or church setting. And I honestly felt the presence of God moving in and through the lives of the kids that were here. To call it “cool” is a gross understatement…but that’s what it was: cool. It could also be called holy, and not be seen as blasphemous. And I kid you not: I felt the urge to remove my shoes, as the ground I was standing on as we all took Communion felt…sacred.

Between this moment, the follow-up chat over coffee that I had with my adopted little sister (hi, Jane) the next day, and the plain and simple fact that so many of these kids keep asking me when it is that I’m going to be speaking next at Mosaic (which the next time will be the fourth, for those of you at home keeping score)…

Maybe my life post-May won’t be so scary after all.

But more on that later. Like, next week later.