Friday, September 21, 2012

Exhaustion, Collaboration and a Congressman

Even the kitty is Lutheran

Spring is definitely not in the air nor in our steps. Fall Semester has crept into the comfort of our hearths, hanging out in a dusty corner and spinning a strangely sticky web daring us to even venture over and peer with thoughts of grabbing the nearest broom and swiping away. 

Trying to match the daily rhythm of classes, chapel, meetings, jobs and eating is a feat unto itself. Adding into it the tension of seniors and their approval essays as well as the middlers and their endorsement essays time seems to be slipping from our hands just as fragile crystal snowflakes that haunt our dreams as the weather briskly exits stage left to change costumes and frightens our imaginations. 

Regular trips to the Refectory and Starbucks is always in order. 

But yet, I am thankful because of the community that is present in the classroom which only enriches our learning. Our Systematic Theology class spent the last half of class smoozing with Dr. Klaus Peter's Pentateuch class combining our wits (whatever was left at 8pm at night) on a biblical exercise; My Mission Leadership peers and I listened to presentations from several folks from Churchwide about how mission IS happening in the wider ELCA and got to know one another, community organizing style. Hearing the laughter coming from any one of Hendel's courses reminds me how dedicated our professors are when bringing history and the Word alive for us. Seeing pictures on Facebook of the Biblical Greek class making an extremely tough language fun so that when text study comes knocking we can throw open the door and say AHA!

Strangely enough, even with the struggles, frustrations and repetitiveness Seminary classes can be enlightening and humorous.

Even more strange is who takes these courses.

Sitting in my Augustine, Niebuhr and Malcolm X last week for the first class I did feel rather as an intruder in the hallowed halls of another seminary, brand new and neat, but unfamiliar quiet and empty. Many of my classmates were either conversing among themselves or lost in their own thoughts. None of the roughness under their feet or the absence of shoes. None of the collaborating in the hallways or loudness and liveliness among friends about hanging out at Jimmy's at 4pm. 

Yet, how interesting it was to see an elder Illinois congressman of color walk into the classroom not as an observer but as a student, someone who had been around at the time of Malcolm-who ran in those circles and passed in his shadow; who fought for the same things that my people continue to battle and achieve, rise and fall. How fascinating is that he too, is a child of God who has worked in community and social justice and yet still sits at the feet of Wisdom, wanting to hear what She has for us. 

Just because we pay our dues, receive our degrees and are covered in the Rite of Ordination doesn't mean God still does not have words to speak into our spirits; That the Creator does not have continued knowledge to pour into our souls. Just because we journey and think we have arrived, doesn't mean that there are not nooks, and hidden winding paths into the deepness of Creation that we shouldn't travel.

O what surprises Seminary has to offer. O how I too will never be weary of what God wishes to share with me.

I just wish free coffee was thrown into the deal.

Lape Bondye, God's Peace!

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