Week One

My first week on the job.

Hoping my shoes don’t squeak, wondering if I’m over-dressed, worrying that I’m under-dressed…incipio – I begin. Everyone is incredibly kind, so wonderfully welcoming. Some are even saying, “Thank you; thank you for coming, for being here,” as if I wasn’t the one desperate for this job. I haven’t done anything of merit or worth, but they’re already grateful that I’m here. Thankful for my presence.

With the construction going on and the mission trips approaching, this week gives me no sort of expectation or feel for what day-to-day life and work will be like here. Everything is unstable, nothing “typical”. Even so, it feels nice to be of some use, immersed in the immediate needs at hand. I am beginning to develop the sense of being a part of a living, breathing machine, a human community.

The item most worthy of note for the week is when I watched the fracturing of a heart. Of it being consumed by grief and swallowed by unexplainable anguish. A coworker received a triple-wammy of devastating family news, and I happened to be present in the midst of this very personal pain. I was moved profoundly for this person I had barely come to know yet, and felt as though I was not worthy of having an insight into the sacredness of their heartbreak. As I sat in on my first-ever staff meeting and members shared personal and community news about deaths and illnesses, I was struck again by the weight of mortality. The reality of our death. The immensity of grief.

This week I am humbled by the gift. To be alive, to be present…to be here.


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