Friday, March 4, 2016

The News from Magruder 2/28-3/5

The weather this week has been a bit bipolar, alternating between powerful storms and serene blue skies. The weather on the Oregon Coast generally keeps us on our toes. You might be shedding layers one minute, soaking up sunshine and the next moment sprinting for an awning with your shirt pulled over your head. This type of weather teaches you not to squander the beautiful moments and not be too disillusioned by the grayer ones.

Monday was the deadline for applications for Magruder Resource Staff. These are the activity leaders who will live onsite as a part of the family this June through September. Afterwards, they'll be a part of that extended family that is always a part of Magruder lore. I love the thoughts that some of these names will be the names of people I see nearly every day for three months. They will be names that children and youth will hold with rock star status for the rest of their lives. Some of the names among the forms that came in will have an important impact on someone's life right here on these grounds.

In a few Saturdays, we'll interview the applicants and make the tough decisions about who we think will best serve this year. Right now, I'm in coordinating mode--organizing the interview schedule, making lists of who's gotten in the First Aid Certifications, who still has references out. But, very soon, we'll begin the work of forming relationships, building, and teaching. Even those we don't hire this summer, I hope we can help serve their calling, grow in a way that they might do the work someday. I'm tired of the paperwork, ready for the real work. The face-to-face work. The memorable work.

One morning this week, we were all woken up by a bright lightening flash, followed quickly by a loud boom. Rain dumped on our rooftops like the bucket was tipped over all at once. I began to plan my day, thinking of how I would need to wear my light, fast dry pants, how I would need a rain jacket all day. The jacket would need to be hung up immediately to be dry by the next time I went out. By the time I left for the office, though, the sky was clear, the only rain falling from branches in the breeze.

It is March now, and we are seeing more and more signs of it. The days are getting longer, and we've even been treated to a few sunsets over the beach. Flowers are budding on many of our bushes. A few Huckleberry blossoms can be seen, precursors to the berries we'll pop like candy towards the end of the summer. This season of Lent is a time of reflection, a time of anticipation. In moments of anticipation, it's easy to just be impatient for the thing that's coming next. It's easy to be ready for the cool thing that's new and different, not like this thing we've been doing. Times of anticipation are also times of preparation, though, times where we get ourselves ready for what's coming. That way we know how best to welcome it, how to appreciate it, how to make it something truly special. We are preparing the best versions of ourselves to help what's coming be the best thing it can be.

I went home for lunch in the middle of the week. While at the sink, I looked out the window to a beautiful blue sky, the backdrop to the dark green shore pines. Sunbeams poured into the windows, and I thought of what a nice afternoon it would be. I imagined taking the long way back to the office, walking along the beach, soaking in the sun's warmth and a cool breeze coming off the ocean. Before I finished the dishes, clouds had come in and begun pouring rain again. I grabbed my rain jacket on the way out.

We seem to be straddling a doorway right now, one foot in one room, one in the other. It is our nature to want to know it will be one way or the other. It's also our nature to want the next thing. But, in that
time that we are hoping and waiting, we have a chance still to do important things. Opportunity is here right now. Let's plan the welcome party for the next big thing, let's get ourselves ready the way we think we should be. Let's be sure is something amazing, something worth longing for.

This weekend we welcome the Aphasia Network for a weekend retreat. We pray that you have a weekend filled with meaning and joy. Keep us in your prayers if you get a chance.

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