Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Leaving Well

Last week I wrote about registration day, and the odd tension of having one foot in this place and the other foot firmly re-planting itself in Chicago. I wrote about it knowing I was living with this tension, but assuming my congregation had not yet become aware of the looming reality. I was wrong.

On Sunday amid the joyful chaos of palm processions, the children’s pageant, and the questions about Holy Week schedules, I also fielded one very unexpected question. “When do you head back to Chicago?” The question was honest, well-meaning, asked with a tinge of sadness even. It sent me reeling.

“I’m here through the summer,” I stumbled blankly. “I don’t leave until August, lots of time yet.”

The truth is while I was dealing with the tension I blogged about last week, I was relying on their lack of knowledge to buy me some time. To allow me to ignore a little bit longer the harsh reality that I need to start thinking about leaving this place. But May is just around the corner. And after May comes summer, and Confirmation Camp and Vacation Church School and cook-outs, and before I know it, it will be August and I will be packing my car. If I intend to leave well, it's time to start thinking about what that means. Internship is about learning, and the last great lesson is how to say good-bye.

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