The Gift of Presence
For nearly two weeks, those of us in the Saint Paul Area Synod have been blessed by the presence of ou[...]
Perhaps you find yourself in a parish house in rural Iringa in the early evening hours. You’ve spent the day visiting preaching points and checking in on various projects. You’ve sung songs, sampled sodas, and munched on some ground nuts. Women from the parish have been cooking all day and have prepared a veritable feast with rice and beans and ugali. Kachumbari and kuku too. They wash your hands with warm water as a gesture of hospitality, hand you a plate, and add one heaping scoop of deliciousness after another. At a certain point, however, your hand goes up to cover the plate. “Inatosha,” you say. “This is enough.” More than enough, really, this is the life abundant.
Or, perhaps you find yourself at a table with friends – both old and new – sharing stories of joy, moments of sorrow, and life together. Bread has been broken, relationships renewed, and identities affirmed. Your mind, heart, and belly are full. “Inatosha,” you say. “This is enough.” Satisfied, content and complete, life is good – very good, even.
Or, maybe… just maybe, you find yourself alone and asleep at the base of a tree – cradled in roots with a rock for a pillow. Wandering in the wilderness of pandemic for 18 long months, slogging through uncertainty and the fog of decision fatigue, “Inatosha,” you say. “This is enough.” Too much to bear, perhaps, it is by the grace of God that you find the encouragement and strength to press on.
This coming November, we’ll be exploring and experiencing ‘enoughness’ at the Bega Kwa Bega Fall Festival. Gathered together, we’ll hear reflections from Tanzanians and Americans, join our voices in prayer, and once again celebrate this companionship that means so much to so many.
More details will be shared in the weeks to come. For now, we ask you to mark your calendars for the morning of Saturday, Nov. 13, and make plans to join us online or in person at Christus Victor in Apple Valley. It will be good and it will be enough – all thanks be to God.