My year as an RHMC will take me a while to process.
Tonight is my last night in Hill Hall, which has in a matter of days transformed from a hive of activity, full of life and love and energy, into an empty shell of a thing, a mere building of bricks and concrete. It’s deeply depressing, because this place was not four days ago full of the people I have spent a year learning how to love. Now that they’re gone, the place is soulless, and I’m not sure what to do that. I would feel worse if my friend Sam hadn’t come down from Ashton Hall to hang out. He and I are kind of going through the same thing, which helps.
This year I devoted myself to fourteen people in ministry, pouring as much as I had to into them. I listened to their hopes and fears, counseled them in difficult times, rejoiced with them in victory, and comforted them in defeat. I’ve been telling people that this job feels like being a parent, except accelerated: my SMCs were born(e) to me by Providence only nine months ago, and now they’re gone, moved out of the house and here I am feeling like a sick mother with empty nest syndrome. Oof.
I have never had so much love and respect for so many people at once. It’s a wonderful feeling, and while I wish they could all come back, that we start again with life stories and end once more in an affirmation circle, those two ridiculous SMC rites of passage that are so full of the simplest beauty and poetry . . . we can’t. These relationships cannot be static and they cannot go backward. Forward is the only option open to us.
I have more thoughts on this, and I’m sorry if this isn’t making sense yet. Blogs are about immediacy, of recording thoughts and feelings in real time, or so I hear. They’re not about refined, publishable statements that could go in a book or an essay.
This is where I’m at now, a man who feeds on community, yet on a temporary fast.