Good Trouble

It is good to be back at school, but I had a great summer. It was hard to leave. I have struggled to explain why this summer was so special to me, because while I had great experiences none of them truly stand out. Its meaning came from a series of small moments that together prompted me to re-examine the world and my place in it.

I think if I was forced to pick the defining moment of my summer, it would be an experience in St. Simons, Georgia. I was there for a meeting of the United Methodist Division on Ministries with Young People. Following an intense day of difficult conversation, one of the Division members played a Tom Jones song “Did Trouble Me”. You can listen to it here. We were all still raw from our experiences, still struggling to process and reconcile all that we had heard. It was exactly what we needed in that moment and has been on my heart ever since.

This summer was troubling. I had difficult conversations, witnessed and learned upsetting things. There were moments I struggled to process, conversations that struck me to the core. Yet, these moments were always followed by the feeling I got as we sat in a circle listening to Tom Jones-a certainty that something is happening here. Through discomfort, I was able to see God at work in and around me. I witnessed the beauty of a group of people struggling to love one another in the midst of profound disagreement and pain. I grew. These experiences gave the summer an ineffable quality. All I can say is something happened.

As we begin this semester, my deepest hope is that God continues to trouble me. In the midst of discomfort I have found community and experienced growth.  I think that is a beautiful thing and I pray it never stops.

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