Monday marked the end of an era in Boston. The Boston Red Sox lost to the Cleveland Indians and were eliminated from the playoffs; this was the last day time that David Ortiz will step on a field to play a game of professional baseball. It is only fitting to talk about “Big Papi” and what he meant to me.

One of the most exciting times in my life was when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004; David Ortiz was an integral part of that team. He went on to win 2 more World Series with the Red Sox and will be immortalized by having his number retired.

One of the many reasons that he is so beloved in the city of Boston is that he always wore his heart of his sleeve. This was not always the best thing (ie. smashing a phone in the Orioles’ dugout). He was known for allowing his emotions the get the best of him at times. With that being said, for the most part, he had good intentions with the majority of his actions.

He never hesitated to visit sick children in hospitals or make appearances at charity events. He did not just care about getting his money or just doing well on the field. He cared about the community and the fans. He understood that for some fans the game of baseball was an escape from hardship. No he was not perfect all the time. But, no one is. I think it is important for all of us to know that our intentions are as important as our actions. Impulsive actions are often not acceptable. But if you act impulsively it is important and responsible to admit fault and act for forgiveness. Everyone has emotion and sometimes cannot control their actions. Baseball is a great example of realizing fault and moving forward. David Ortiz has had to do this many times in his career. So should we.

On of the better times which Ortiz let his emotions get the best of him was after the Boston Bombing. His heartfelt speech after the tragic events of the Boston Bombing still gives me chills to this day. I remember where I was when the bombing happened; I also remember where I was when David Ortiz gave his speech. Although saying a vulgar term on live television probably was not the plan. I appreciate his devotion to the community and how he too was emotionally impacted by the tragic and horrific events of that day.

I want to thank David Ortiz for his time in Boston. For giving all Bostonians something and someone to cheer for. For rebuilding a historic franchise. For his electric smile. For giving back. No matter where you go, Boston will always be your home. Have a happy retirement.

Community Snapshots

For my blog post this week, I have several fragments—instances this week where I felt part of something bigger—a larger community, a movement, an experience beyond myself. They were meaningful to me and I hope they can bring some sense of meaning to you as well.


My professor lets us out of class early so we can participate in the walk out in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. We gather on the plaza beneath an achingly blue sky and I stand surrounded by students beneath the arc of metal birds proclaiming Free at Last. I look up at the front of the chapel, framed by trees whose leaves are starting to burst into fall flames. Our shouts echo off the cold stone and fill the crisp fall air. We have gathered to bear witness to each other, to pledge unity, to remind people that there is still work to be done. We can’t understand all of the words that are spoken but we nod and cheer anyway. Because we know what lies at the core of their message. We tie small strips of fabric together, creating a swirling, twisting chain that connects each and every one of us. We know this walkout will not solve the problem. We know it will not bring back the ones we have lost. We know it will not end discrimination. But we are all here, tied to each other, beneath a sculpture celebrating freedom and human dignity. We are all here to push for change, to push each other, to foster hope in a world that desperately needs it. My shoulders ache from the weight of my backpack but I feel bolstered by this sense of community forged from a seemingly ordinary day.


I walk into the National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC and stop to listen to two boys drumming. They perform rhythms from the Mali empire, the intent looks of concentration on their faces occasionally giving way to a smile that can’t help but bring out smiles in all of us watching. I stand in the midst of a growing crowd, all of us swaying or tapping our feet. The children watch in fascination, one of them mirrors the drumming actions, hitting imaginary drums as he visualizes himself adding to the pulsing rhythm. The adults smile, close their eyes, cheer, laugh. We are all captured by this music, unable to take our eyes off the skillful and rapid movements of the boys’ hands as they fearlessly fill the room with sound. I can feel the beat in my bones. There are no words but it is a language that we all understand.


I emerge into the top floor of the recently opened National Museum of African American History. A circle of screens fill with images of African Americans dancing, singing, speaking, competing. The images are accompanied by music and create a collage of life, a snapshot of culture, a representation of the African American experience. The exhibits cover music, clothing, television, theater, sports, art, fashion. I walk around in a daze, overwhelmed by the richness and fullness of everything. I barely scratch the surface. I pass by elderly women with their daughters, married couples pointing out art pieces and biographies, lines of children following behind their mother, young men laughing and joking—all finally able to experience a museum that is entirely their own. There are stories of endurance and triumph. There are stories of discrimination and inequality. There are stories of pride and creativity. There are stories of life being lived. As we pass each by other, we are drawn together, whether consciously or not, sharing in a collectivity of witness and memory, of hope and progress. We have all come searching for something and here together we have found it.

Failure Faced

It became clearer and clearer to me that I had no more options. As I sat in the basement of the South Campus main residence hall at three in the morning on a weekend, I stared at the blinking line on my terminal. No matter what I did, I could not seem to figure out how to implement the function that created a POSIX thread. Each compilation of code brought new errors.

I survived project 1, but project 2 was a whole new level of programming. I sat there, learning new concepts, and attempting to implement them, only to find out there were other new and confusing concepts I should have known about. What was I doing in this course? Was I going to have to drop Operating Systems?

No matter how many hours I spent thinking about the problem, no matter how many hours I spent on theory, it was no use: I simply did not have a strong enough background in the C language to properly implement this function library.

It was an error on my part to enroll in such a high level course while knowing I do not have the skillset yet.

Why didn’t I catch my lack of proficiency in C? I noticed I struggled with programming when I took Applied Algorithms; I got the theory, but I could rarely implement it in C. My professor noted that I would need to practice C more to catch up as proficiency in programming is important for computer engineers.

It was an error on my part to not have spent personal time improving my skills in programming with C.

I sat there and the reality that I might have to drop this course began to sink in. The cut-off date for a safe drop without any permanent transcript repercussions was quickly approaching. The cut-off date to apply for other courses was long gone. Dropping this course so late will result in me having to take only twelve credits this semester, and being four credits behind on my degree program. I might have to overload next semester, or take summer classes, or break my general education electives into smaller courses. No matter what I do, this will have a negative effect on my future coursework.

It was an error on my part to be a few days past the last day to add classes when I came to the realization that I needed to drop this course.

It was an error on my part to not hear the words from the professor the first couple of days of class, “This is a C-extensive course, if you do not feel you are comfortable with programming in C, this course might not be for you.”

It was an error. I made mistakes. These were my errors. As the project 2 deadline continued to approach, I began to shift my efforts onto my other assignments and studies. The thought of a successful project 2 became less and less real. As I returned to my room from the lab and prepared for bed, my head was racing.

‘Was this because I went on that retreat and missed office hours? Why didn’t I see this coming? Should I have not have focused on studying for those midterms? Should I have not done homework before this project? Why did I have to get sick this weekend? What am I going to do about my degree? Am I even going to make it anymore? Is this it? Have I hit my limit? Am I cut out for this?’

I could not sleep. The clock on my phone read past 5am. I tossed and turned.

Can I fit my coursework in if I were to drop this course?

I opened a web browser on my phone and began planning my schedule on the student link.

I don’t think it’s possible. I can’t drop this course, but I also don’t seem to be able to successfully complete this project.

I could not stop thinking about my mistakes. I continued to blame myself and I could not stop that internal voice that began to label me as
a failure,

I could not stop thinking about how I got here, and whether or not this was going to ruin my future. What was even my future at this point? What do I even want to be? Do I even enjoy all of this? Should this be my major?

Slowly every support in the foundation of my vocational identity began to fall over. The entire structure came tumbling down.

On Monday evening, I went over Jen’s apartment after spending most of the day completing homework assignments in all of my other courses, the assignments I postponed due to allocating all of my time to my Operating Systems project.

The stress must have been painted all over my face, because she immediately asked me if I was okay. She was well aware of my struggles with this project, and she was aware I was considering dropping the course.

Throughout that evening I continued to repeat the same fears, the same concerns, the same statements where I blamed myself, where I would talk about how it was just
oh so so so so-oo stupid of me to have let this happen, to get to this point.

At some point, Jen stopped me in my spiral and began to wake some sense into me. She first asked: “Nick, are these thoughts even useful?”

I thought to myself, ‘No. These thoughts aren’t useful.’

Is blaming yourself going to change anything? Is constantly thinking about what you could have or should have done going to change this?”

‘No. It’s not.’

And then she reminded me:

“You are at this point and constantly thinking about what you should have done or could have done isn’t going to change anything. You cannot go and change the past. You are here. You can only move forward.”

‘I can only move forward.’

At some point I really needed to forgive myself and give myself a break. I have made it this far, and I did not destroy my entire existence and future with one course.

Jen reminded me that this was one course. She reminded me to put this all into perspective and that this one small failure was exactly that: one small failure in the grand scheme of things. A small failure doesn’t automatically shroud and overpower everything.

It’s not like the moment we fail, we fall, or we make mistakes we become unsalvageable. It’s not like this failure brought me to the point of no return.

As I spiraled out of control, she pulled me out of it, and helped me snap back into reality.

I dropped the course – and I am still alive. I am still a computer engineering student. My future, my coursework, my existence as a student in this wonderful university did not instantaneously vanish.

It’s going to be okay. I failed. I made mistakes. It’s okay though, I am only human.

I am only human, and although I have failed, I can still keep going and keep working.

I can still keep going.

I can still accept myself, even though I am very much well aware of my flaws.

I can still accept myself.


Time is something that I deeply value. I firmly believe that many significant parts of who we are and what we value tend to develop gradually. Important things to me such as friendships, beliefs, and perspective often do not emerge overnight.

With that said, I occasionally encounter deeply significant moments that occur spontaneously and abruptly, as if from nowhere. Three such moments happened to me this past week. In the first, an ordained United Methodist clergy was reconsecrated at Marsh Chapel. In the second, a rally of students gathered on Marsh Plaza for a shared cause. And in the last, I met a group of three first-year students on a ninth floor study lounge.

I was placing red attendance books in the pews of the sanctuary, a task that I had done over the summer as an office assistant. As I was searching for missing books in the pews, a woman approached me to ask if I could take two people to see the Dean of the Chapel. Later, I spoke to one of these individuals, an alumnus of Boston University, with the director of the chapel and one of the chaplains. He asked if he could be reconsecreated by one of his colleagues, as a gesture of solidarity with the LGBTQ community. During this conversation, he spontaneously invited the three of us to be present at this ceremony.

After the worship service ended, several people gathered in the sanctuary to witness this minister’s reconsecration. As his colleague and the Dean said the liturgy and prayed over him, all who were present put their hands on his shoulder. When I laid my hand on him and listened to the liturgy, I felt the physical connection to him. In that moment, I felt an emotional connection as well. Perhaps there was even a spiritual connection in the sense of unity among those present to witness this minister’s affirmation and reconsecration. That moment, and the experience of these connections, would not have happened had it not been for his spontaneous invitation earlier that morning.

Several days later, I was walking toward Marsh Chapel for my biweekly meeting with Soren. On the plaza, a large crowd had gathered together in a circle. It then hit me that this was the walkout organized by students from the School of Social Work, an event meant to disrupt the normal pace of life at BU to highlight, among many things, the importance of justice and to show solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. Of course, this gathering probably required lots of preparation, planning, and execution. In that sense, then, it was not entirely spontaneous.

However, the fact that a large body of students, faculty, staff, and passers-by could gather and raise their voices so suddenly and with such power contains an element of spontaneity. There are certain collective sensations and expressions of emotion that cannot be planned in advance. This, in my opinion, was one such experience. The collective sense of community, outrage, and unity behind a shared cause at that walk-out manifested in real time, and all those present stood there to witness it. People were invited to tie together strips of cloth that were handed out, with the intention of creating a giant chain. That chain was said to symbolize the unity between all those present. And indeed, a sense of binding unity in the chain emerged without warning. The image of holding and weaving together that cloth chain has remained with me since.

More recently, I was working on graduate school applications on the ninth floor of Kilachand Hall, a space I am accustomed to doing work in. I noticed three students were watching a movie together on a couch. I recognized the film to be Hocus Pocus, a Disney film that I had watched with some friends a few years prior on Halloween. I approached them to comment on the film they were watching, and they invited me to join them without even knowing who I was. After I sat down and talked with them, I learned that they were freshmen, and that two of them had met, by chance, that same evening. We stayed on the ninth floor for several hours, talking, watching movies, and sharing pizza. At the end of the evening, I felt a sense of closeness to all of them, despite having only known them for a few hours.

These moments of spontaneity share a few things in common. They all, in some ways, disrupted the normal pace of life, the gradual flow and change of time. Yet they also introduced radical acts of invitation, a hospitality that struck me with their powerful simplicity. Looking back, I am grateful for these moments. I am happy to have encountered them, and hopeful that I will experience them again soon.

Learning Experience

This past week I got to lead Sunday Morning Book Study on my own for the very first time. I will admit, I did not know what was going to happen going into the meeting. Throughout the week I prepared for the meeting by reading the book and deciding on what questions to ask. On Sunday the group was a lot smaller than usual and this allowed me to get really comfortable and fall into a rhythm of how the discussion would continue. Would I say that the class went completely according to plan, no. But, I do believe that there are some great things to learn from this experience.

The first is that nothing ever goes completely according to plan. I learned that I cannot just assume that everything will work out the way that i have anticipated. I learned that it is important to go with the changes and see what happens; often times the deviations from the plan will find their way back in almost a complete circle.

The second is to not get distraught if something isn’t working out the way it was intended or if a question is not as big of a hit as thought to be. It is okay. Not everything is going to be perfect, especially not on the first try.

The third is that if something is not going in the direction it was hoped to be in, it is okay to try to bring it back to what you were planning. Sometimes passionate discussions will occur because of questions. That is fine! It is also important to make sure that not too much time is spent on one them. Spending proportionate amounts of time on topics and questions is important. It isn’t good to end a conversation too early or too late.

Overall I believe this was a very good learning experience and I enjoyed myself. I can definitely build off of my experience and in my next meeting try to implement what I have learned. Not everything is going to be perfect the first time; however, I believe I am at a good place to start.

There’s Still Hope

Two weeks ago I wrote, one of the most painful and personal blogs I have ever written. It hurt. Every word hit my heart in ways I couldn’t imagine. I had the opportunity to talk through my thoughts with various leaders here at Marsh, the support I received from people of color and particularly, people not of color, gave me hope. I really believe things can change, I believe that being a good person will become the norm in our society. I wrote that blog two weeks ago, but in reality I’ve been writing it since it hit my home of Baltimore in April. I’ve been writing it since I saw my closest friend’s childhood be destroyed and the pain in his eyes.  I realized how much it hurt me to see him so hurt. I changed my last blog to his name after realizing that he inspired me. I don’t think I’ll write about this subject for awhile, at least not in the way I had before. I gave my last blog everything I had. I poured out my entire heart. I needed it, in the best way.

I’m committing myself to making it cool to be good person again. Yes, I am tired of the protest and the hashtags and the twitter campaigns. But, I’m not tired of the hope that is being spread. I’m not tired of the good being spread. I want to find a way to spread that good. Something so contagious, that no one can avoid it. I think I’m very close to finding something that makes me come alive, to quote Howard Thurman. When I do, I’ll make sure it spreads like a wildfire. The perfect example is Christ himself. There’s still hope despite the reality we live in right now, I believe that in my core, I think I have to.



On a completely different note, the detail in music and the power it has, is staying with me more than usual this week. During our weekly meeting we had the time to write to ourselves while listening to music and I got to play one of my favorite artist. I think there’s power in the music we listen to, especially good music. I think the music we listen to is often used as a mood setter………



Jonah and Jeremiah

I don’t want to write this blog post. When I went to bed last night, I had absolutely no ideas for my next post and hoped I would think of something to write about by the time I woke up. This morning, I still had nothing and the blank space on the page seemed to glare out at me, mocking me with its lack of inspiration. I felt like throwing myself down on the couch and complaining, groaning, muttering—being in a general grumpy and irritable mood. I probably just needed to go for a run but this blog post would still have been waiting for me upon my return. Jonah’s option of just getting on a boat and running away from all responsibility was starting to seem like a great idea. I also thought about the Prophet Jeremiah exclaiming, “Ah Lord God! Truly I cannot speak for I am only a youth.” Agreed, Jeremiah. I am only a youth, I don’t have theological training, I’m not a model of religious devotion or piety, and I definitely don’t have anything to say right now. But all these excuses fail because they are just that—excuses. After Jeremiah’s protest, God responds with “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and you shall speak whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you…I have put my words in your mouth.” And, like Jonah, I found myself trapped with the realization that it’s impossible to get away from this. The thing about having a God who works through all people is that you can’t come up with excuses for why you’re unfit or why you don’t have anything to contribute or how you just don’t have any ideas.

The problem is, I know it’s supposed to be comforting when God says ‘I will put my words in your mouth’ but they still feel like my inadequate words and I don’t always feel like the most useful vessel. There are days like this where I don’t really want to say anything, to write anything, to reflect on anything. There are days when I would really just love to get on a ship to Tarshish or build a wall of excuses around myself. But somehow, God still finds ways to work through me. As intimidating as it is, it can also be somewhat comforting to know that wherever I go, God will be there; that whatever I say, God will speak through me; that whatever I do, God will work through me.

I’d like to end with verses from psalm 139. You can read it as a contemplative reflection on the vastness and awesomeness of God but psalmists are people too; on days like today, I prefer to read it as the voice of someone who’s pretty fed up with God’s inescapable-ness. They take comfort in having such a deep relationship with God but also find it a little overwhelming.


Psalm 139: 1-18

Oh Lord, you have searched me and known me.

You know when I sit down and when I rise up;

You discern my thoughts from far away.

You search out my path and my lying down,

And are acquainted with all my ways.

Even before a word is on my tongue,

O Lord, you know it completely.

You hem me in, behind and before,

And lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

It is so high that I cannot attain it.


Where can I go from your spirit?

Or where can I flee from your presence?

If I ascend to heaven, you are there;

If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.

If I take the wings of the morning

And settle at the farthest limits of the sea,

Even there you hand shall lead me,

And your right hand shall hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,

And the light around me become night,”

Even the darkness is not dark to you;

The night is as bright as the day,

For darkness is as light to you.


For it was you who formed my inward parts;

You knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works;

That I know very well.

My frame was not hidden from you,

When I was being made in secret,

Intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes beheld my unformed substance.

In your book were written

All the days that were formed for me,

When none of them as yet existed.

How weighty to me are your thoughts, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

I try to count them—they are more than the sand;

I come to the end—I am still with you.

Lose the sandals

After we finished our introductions in Sojourn, we began our discussion of the passage in our usual Sojourn way: we talked about what stuck out to us and discussed what we thought about the themes surrounding the passage. Right now, we are going through the Epistle to the Ephesians. This week, the author(is it Paul? I’m pretty sure it’s debatable – well, for the purpose of this blog post, I’m sure that’s not important) prayed that the Ephesians would gain spiritual insight and grow in their knowledge of God, and that their hearts would be enlightened.

At that point in our discussion, we began to discuss the meaning behind this enlightenment of the heart. What, exactly, did it mean to have our hearts see the light?

I began thinking about one of my favorite stories written in our folklore: the story of Moses and the burning bush.

In this story, Moses sees a burning bush. He looks at it, and on second thought, it appears the bush is not burning, and yet it is on fire. That imagery. It could have been just another burning bush, but this one was more than just another burning bush. It really caught the eye of Moses.

As he approaches the bush, Moses gains a sense of the voice of God. God then proceeds to tell Moses to remove his sandals, for he is on holy ground.

As the conversation continues, God instructs Moses to act in bringing social justice to his people, the Israelites, and free them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt.

At the end of this exchange, Moses asks God what he should say if he is questioned on who sent him. God responds by saying that the “I am that I am” sent him.

This struck me because it was a brief moment in being fully present and noticing all of reality around him that had Moses wake up and see this burning bush. It is then that he hears the quiet word of God and thinks about the suffering of the Israelites. It is in that moment that he realizes the ground is holy – it wasn’t any less holy before; he simply did not see it until that moment. His act of presence, of truly being there, allowed him to hear the words of the “I am that I am.” In this way of modeling God, God is… Being Itself? God is simply existence. God is. Moses heard from the very of Ground of Being itself. This is who sent Moses: Being itself. And it was in being, in truly embracing existence that Moses was awoken. It was then that his heart was enlightened. In that moment, he realized: the ground below him was sacred, that bush is on fire, and the Israelites needed justice. It didn’t become sacred; it was already sacred: Moses simply just had to notice.

We were then asked if we had this confident hope that the author describes is in those who have had their hearts enlightened. We were asked if we feel as though our hearts were enlightened. In my head, I heard a resounding, ‘No, no you do not Nick. Right now, if you looked at the previous week, you don’t.’ And it was very true. There were various times when, in running from class to class, from responsibility to responsibility, from project to project or from lab to lab, I would actually ignore everyone around me. I would put headphones into my ears and hurry past everything around me, because I have places to be.

I would be there, but was I really there? I would, as my boss last summer would describe it, “be running on autopilot.” What was the point to it all? I would hurry around from each assignment to the next, from and to the dining hall, working for my future life and career path when I was missing the life going on around me.

We were given a task last week after Sojourn, and for me it was to actually be present with those around me. I am a former orientation leader, and I feel as though there were various times where, once the school year started, I was not really there for my students. So my task was, no matter who it was, no matter what I had going on, I would actually try to hold a conversation and really be there with anyone, whether it was a friend, a colleague, a coworker, a student…anyone – I would actually be there with them. I succeeded a few times. I was fairly proud of myself, and was ready to share with the group my accomplishments of actually being present around people.

Before I went, however, another person in Sojourn went, and she had a funny story to tell.

She laughed as she described seeing me in Warren during the previous week. She waved at me and I even made eye contact with her, but I didn’t notice her or respond. I just walked on by, listening to my music, and moving out and around everyone around me. This was incredibly sobering to hear.

Has my heart been seeing this light? Do I see the wonder around me like Moses saw in that burning bush? Did I ever take a moment and take off my sandals? Have I recently taken off the sandals of my coursework, and stresses, and thoughts about my future, and thoughts about my past mistakes? I mean, this is holy ground I am standing on, and everyone around me is a wonderful individual with a consciousness, and thoughts, and dreams, and hopes, and stresses, and friendships, and identities that give them meaning, and families. Have I recently taken a step back from everything and just practiced being there?

In reality, I really have not.

And to me, it’s important to really be there for others. I mean, another great way in which we model God is in the relational. God is where two or three gather. In our relational actions between ourselves, our actions are, well, perhaps acts of God. There were hundreds of times in my life where a friend, a coworker, a family member, Jen, my parents, or even a random stranger would commit an action that changed the very course of my day. And who knows, that might have had drastic changes that are still affecting me for the better today. It was in those moments of presence that our world, our reality, our existence, improves for the better.

And it is in being present that I hope that, I too, can have a positive impact on those around me. I might have failed in these regards these past couple of weeks, but I believe that, in admitting my failures, I can begin to work on practicing presence and putting more intentionality into my spiritual practices and that I can be a little more mindful with my time, with my responsibilities, and with how I treat those around me.

Maybe I can practice taking off those sandals, for I am on sacred ground.

Panta Rhei

There is a saying in Ancient Greek, attributed to the philosopher Heraclitus. That phrase, in Greek, is “τὰ πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει” (ta panta rhei kai ouden menei). It roughly translates to, “everything flows, and nothing stays.” Another saying attributed to Heraclitus along this vein is that you can’t step into the same river twice.

Both of these sayings can be summarized in two words: everything changes. The water that flows in a river is always shifting and flowing, so that when you step into a river for a second  time, it is no longer the same river. According to some accounts, one of Heraclitus’ students remarked that by that logic, you could not even step into the same river once, since the water continues to flow even as you set your foot into it.

As the temperatures cool, the rains settle in, and the seasons change, I am reminded of these sayings by Heraclitus. In some ways, they are a little disquieting. In several months, I will leave behind my time as an undergraduate at BU. Where I go from there, who can say now. But with that change, I may lose touch with many of the friends and people that I’ve grown close to at BU. I can’t deny that that’s at least a little scary.

At the same time, there is some peace that can be found in Heraclitus’ sayings as well. If all things change, then that means all things in life, including times of trial and hardship, will eventually pass on. How or when, I can’t say, but I know they will in time.

This does raise a difficult question, though: does the Divine change over time? Or do our conceptions of the Divine, and not the divine itself, ebb and flow? Some might argue that God is one of the few constants in the world that we live. Other people take heart in the fact that the Divine is eternal. And yet, I don’t think that means the Divine is static. The Divine can encompass so much, for so many people. How could something that vast be bounded, or limited, by being perpetually the same and not change?

These are questions that I don’t have an answer to, unfortunately. I don’t know if the Divine is constant, or ever-changing, or both. But when I look out at the Charles River in Boston, and I see the water ripple across the surface, I am reminded of the living presence of the Divine in the the river, in the people around me, and in the world around all of us. I am reminded of the words of the philosopher Heraclitus, words that contain some anxiety, some peace, and a lot of hope. And that, for now, is enough for me to ponder the Divine while embracing the flow that comes with the passing of the seasons.

Jose Fernandez

This week’s blogpost was going to go in a completely different direction; however, tragedy has rocked a community that is dear to me. I am sure by now that you have heard of the tragic loss of Miami Marlins’ ace pitcher Jose Fernandez. Not only does his loss impact the team, but the entire baseball community.

Jose Fernandez is the ultimate story of perseverance and success. He had defected from Cuba to Mexico in his early teens and eventually was able to move to the United States and be drafted by the Marlins’ organization.

His excellence was not only apparent on the field, it was also shown off the field in his efforts to better the community and aid other immigrants to the country. Fernandez became a United States’ citizen in 2015 and was proud of both his heritage and his new nation.

As the son of an immigrant refugee and also a pitcher, I look to Jose Fernandez as an inspiration and role model. With the current negative stigma surrounding immigrants in this country, I think it is incredibly important for immigrants and their families to have people to look up to and model themselves after.

Fernandez was never seen without a smile on his face; his smile was electric. But his work ethic embodied the perfect opposition to the anti-immigrant population in this country. Fernandez had a gift and he worked hard to make sure that he was able to achieve his goals. He never gave up and always persevered. Like so many other immigrants before and after him, he came to this country with a goal and hard work ethic. He came for a reason. Nothing was given to him. He had to earn everything that he had. And he earned it.

Even though Jose Fernandez was a gifted baseball player, I believe the essence of his life was to inspire others. Whether it be on the baseball field or immigrant families coming to the United States, he used his position to help others. It is important to recognize how important his life was off the field, not just on it. May he rest in peace, but let his memory inspire others forever.