Sabbatical Entry Final- Empty Hands

When I got back home to Costa Mesa after spending two months in rural Oregon, I went to visit a friend who has been working on getting her immigration status in order.  As we chatted, she pointed out that they had some boxes packed up.  "If things don't work out with our immigration process, we are moving back to Mexico," she said.  She went on to talk about the new furniture they bought to take with them.  "We don't want to arrive with empty hands," she explained.  She went on to talk about the shame they would experience if after all these years working in the U.S. they returned with nothing to show for it.  So they are preparing to return, hands full, to prove their success.

As I walked home her comment, "We don't want to arrive with empty hands" played over and over in my mind.  The next day I would return to work after my sabbatical. The time was meant to be spent in rest and prayer, quieting my heart and mind.  As I prepared to re-engage with ministry work I was feeling similar to my friend, I didn't want to return with empty hands.  The last week away my thoughts had turned to articulating my experience.  How could I explain to others the things happening in my heart and mind?  How would I share with my community the thoughts and convictions that had deepened and changed in both subtle and dramatic ways?  I didn't want to arrive with empty hands. 

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