Fertile soil with shallow roots

Settling-in can be an unsettling process.  Three weeks into a new ministry, a new community and living in an unfamiliar city, I’m far from feeling grounded.  I’m still trying to establish my routines, navigate interpersonal dynamics and negotiate the ins-and-outs of everyday life.  Big, new beginnings like these can be bittersweet reminders of how I remain a deeply flawed and insecure person.  There’s no lens like major life change or being unsettled to clearly view my fears, my sense of entitlement, and my need for control—this is the gift of itinerancy.

Nevertheless, I sense a calmness and confidence settling-in.  I’m finally finding the time to take a breath and appreciate all the potential that this newness has to offer.  Moments like these are the closest we come to having a clean-slate—and they become what we allow them to become.   A supportive, justice-minded community, a life-giving ministry with solid, competent colleagues, a monumental city full of intrigue and beauty, and the Holy Spirit to companion me through the next steps:  how could this not be right?

Nina Simone sang it for me:
“Blossom on the tree,
you know how I feel. 
It’s a new dawn,
it’s a new day,
it’s a new life for me…
and I’m feeling good.”

Quincy Howard, OP
Washington, DC


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