what do you hear?

(written 26 March 2017, lost via the vagaries of tech urping, revived the same way-!!)

I have walked to where the old road ends. I don’t think I’ve ever driven this road, even though I’ve spent most of my springs here over the past not-quite-twenty years. The asphalt that connected it to the main road has been pulled up, and the re-sodded ground has long since turned itself to between-land…kinda yard, kinda woods. And there’s a bench, right where it’s nice to sit when you come to the end of the road.

It’s the best kind of central-Texas day, I think: sunny and bright, but still cool in the shade. Which is where my pale Anglo skin and I are sitting, on the bench. I can hear the roar of what sounds like a teen group, down by the river. The tiny black midges(?) dot my hands when the breeze is still, but they don’t do anything but walk.

I’m remembering a former coworker; he runs this place now. Based on the ways I knew him, this may be the best-fitted God-project I know, putting him here. He had a career as a telco executive, if I recall correctly. In Charge, of people and products and flowing cash, that I know. And that somehow finished in him, and at midlife he went to seminary to become an ordained pastor. I knew him as our intern…he wasn’t very intern-y, but that was just true and so was fine as far as I know. When he graduated, he was called to lead a congregation about an hour away. And was delighted to serve, also as far as I know. My ears don’t collect much gossip somehow, so my word should not be the history of record.

Still, I was really struck when I learned he had taken the leadership spot here.

It’s a church camp. And a conference center, because there are motel-like rooms and not just the barracks, tents and cots I’m accustomed to in Girl Scout life. But it had always felt more like camp to me when I’d come…no doubt because there were always plenty of things to shrug off because, well, it’s camp and I didn’t come here for the [food | pillows | light fixtures | whathaveyou]. It was known (in Presbyterian circles) to be struggling since I don’t even remember when.

It may be still; see previous note about me and gossip. But its demeanor has shifted from “loved to death” to the gloss of “well-loved.” Which I like to think is due to my coworker’s particular melding of business perspective with a pastor’s deep heart. His mosaic of experiences snaps wonderfully into what a conference and retreat center needs here at the front of the 21st century.

I love looking at God’s callings.

They give me comfort even when I’m bemused in puzzling out mine.

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