It’s been a week of parking tickets, thumbtacks dropped in coffee, nearly lost Word documents. Of meetings, greetings, and collapsing into bed at the end of the day. Of tasty meals, laughter during awkward moments, and community. Of training at part-time jobs, of hearing people’s stories, of escaping to the rolling hills of the country. Of walking into church alone, of circling the block time and time again in search of a parking spot, of walking home in the rain. In the good and in the challenging, it’s been a full week in Lancaster, PA.
The first week is always the most overwhelming. I keep repeating that to myself when I look up from my work at HOPE to the picturesque view of my gray cubicle or when there’s no free parking spot or when I realized that I had to learn two new jobs in one week. The first week is always the most overwhelming.
But in the midst of the overwhelming, there have been many moments that feel like gifts. My roommate and I are fantastic cooks. We make dinner together and eat together. We share about our lives, our families, our goals. My coworkers, both at HOPE and at FestivaLaundry, are incredibly kind and gracious people, willing to answer questions, to celebrate when I finally get something right, to mourn when the Internet fails and I nearly lose an entire day’s work. My other roommates remember what it’s like to move to a new town, start a new job, be with new people. They remind me that it’s OK to not know what to do, what to say, where to go. These are gifts.
Perhaps the biggest theme of this week is dependence. At HOPE, the team takes time nearly everyday to pray together or with their partners overseas. Some days they share a devotion. It’s strange but in a beautiful way. What company hits the pause button for 30 minutes or an hour each day to pray? Their constant refrain is, “We can’t do anything without you, God.” Through word and deed, they show their dependence on the Lord. It’s a picture of humility, of service, and I’m thankful for the chance to be a part of it. I’m thankful to be in this environment, to let it stretch the way I think about work and service and prayer and humility.
So as this week ends, I find my prayers sounding something like this: Teach me to depend. Teach me to live in posture of humility, of service, of grace. And thank you that the first week only lasts 7 days.