I had a great 31st year (it’s that weird thing where you’re in your first year before you turn 1…). Some major accomplishments of last year include taking a great sabbatical (and coming back from sabbatical), taking a wonderful trip to Hong Kong, and not dying. Yes, that last one is a big reason why 31 feels younger than 30. Not trying to be dramatic, just honest. I’ve had my share of close-calls, but this spring’s anaphylactic shock was … well, shocking.
Taking a ride in an ambulance makes me appreciate this year’s birthday celebration so much more. And celebrate I did! First, by preaching a sermon on perhaps my favorite passage of Scripture – Mark 5 – with Jairus’ daughter and the bleeding woman. You listen to the sermon audio at http://mosaicaustin.org/media.
Then, a potluck with lots of church friends at Amber’s house (a co-birthday celebrater). And then my first immersion in Barton Springs. Wow! It was wonderful, and I felt soooo alive jumping into the 68 degree water. Alive with the refreshing cold, and alive with the joy of having the energy to do it! (Sharp contrast to lying on the couch with no energy for a week after the ER).
After that, a wonderful dinner with old staff friends. We laughed so hard! I hadn’t laughed so much in a long, long time and was blessed by the food, company, and joy.
On Monday, there was more laughter and fun at Red House Pizzeria, and later a trip to Sandy’s for frozen custard. They have random horses inside Red House… which I realize, works for me since I was born in the year of the horse.
Finally, on Wednesday I flew to Madison for my seminary class. And participated in Party 31 – so named because Jenn I-M had 31 days until sabbatical, and because of my recent birthday. It was a blast! Here’s a picture of Jenn, Brenda, and I.
I wrote most of this post on Thursday, and then found out that one of our IV students at UT passed away on Friday morning. She had been sick for two years, but it is still very sad. I’m reminded of a thought from my sermon last week – I had gotten stuck writing the sermon. I told the congregation that I needed to acknowledge that there are lots of stories that end with the daughter not getting brought back to life, or the woman not getting healed. But in Mark 5 (the gospel reading last week) – we see Jesus the loving healer. We see a desperate woman, and a desperate father, and we see Jesus meet them in their need. As many of us mourn losses, Jesus meets us in those needs too.