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Friday, December 11, 2015

After the Silence

Graduation is over. The reception hall has been swept clean, the trash has been taken out, and the extra food given away. Dorm keys turned in, goodbyes said, cards exchanged. The final tests have been taken and the exercise logs turned in for the last time. Now the place is still, waiting for a new beginning.

It happens twice a year, this beginning time. The week before is a flurry of busyness, phone calls, packages, early arrivals, late night airport runs. Then it is registration morning and as they walk in the door, I smile and greet them by name even before they say hello. I know who they are. I've memorized their faces, their names, the things about them that make them unique. I'm excited because we've worked so hard together to reach this point, to make this a possibility, and now God has led them here.

They have no idea what the next four months carry for them. I have an inkling, having seen similar groups come through before, but I know too that this group will grow in heart and soul in a special way that no other group has grown before. They will laugh, they will fight, they will feel overwhelmed, they will cry, they will pray. They will meld into a team of leaders that only God can create out of such individual people.

As the semester progresses, they will sense their need of God in a deeper way than before. Unlike required tests and homework, they will voluntarily seek God through community prayer as they ask for healing for themselves and for those they serve. This community will help them encourage each other when struggling and shape each other to be servant leaders.

The semester begins with a bang while the end hurries in quietly. Before we have time to fully realize what it means that it is all over, it will be. Once the hubbub has died down, the silence will come in.

This time, the ending is symbolic for my journey also. The next class that arrives will know who I am but I won't be there to greet them. I will have left for my own adventure, to learn how to be part of a team with other leaders, and to learn how to pray to God for healing for others and myself.

After the silence comes a new beginning. For them. For me.

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