It's Going to Be Different

I imagine the eyes of Jesus / were harvest brown,
The light of their gazing / suffused with the seasons:
The shadow of winter, / the mind of spring,
The blues of summer, / and amber of harvest.
A gaze that is perfect sister / to the kindness that dwells
In his beautiful hands.
The eyes of Jesus gaze on us,
Stirring in the heart’s clay / the confidence of seasons
That never lose their way to harvest.

from “The Eyes of Jesus” by John O’Donohue

Clivie is getting ready to start school at his new co-op preschool next week. We have been preparing him for this change for a while, and he is excited about it.  He is also a little sad that he will not be spending as much time with his friends from his current day-care and a little anxious about meeting the new kids and teachers.  “Mama,” he said to me the other day, “it’s going to be different. . . . And what if I don’t like those kids?”  
Our son is growing and moving into a new developmental phase in his life.  And yes, “It’s going to be different. . . .”  The energy of fall is coming on stronger now, even though many of us are still clinging to the notion that August is still summer!   And Clivie is still my baby!  We all might feel a little sad and anxious that—no matter what the days ahead bring—“It’s going to be different.” 
The city of Vallejo is also changing, and as an effective ministry in this time and place, we must respond to the changing needs in our midst.  What does our community need?  And how are we prepared and able to meet those needs?  In whatever ways we respond, there is no question that “it’s going to be different” than what has gone before.
We may have to venture out on some different kinds of terrain to get to where we are called to be.  At times, we may exclaim in wonder at the incredible vistas and the possibilities they evoke in us.  And at other times, our path may be rocky and steep with no shade or water in sight.  In some ways, we may feel like we are still in bondage in Egypt.  We may feel like we are somewhere unknown, wandering around in the unchartered wilderness.  And in other ways, we may feel like we are catching blessed glimpses of the Promised Land.  But make no mistake, no matter what emerges for us on this transformational faith journey, we are going to be called into something new.  It’s going to be different.
So, as we enter into fall, I echo the voice of John O’Donohue:  may the eyes of Jesus gaze upon us, stirring in our hearts’ clay the confidence of the seasons that never lose their way to harvest. . . .  Our God is with us no matter where we find ourselves on the journey.  And I pray that you make room to experience God’s presence, no matter what kind of different road you find yourself travelling today.
See you in church,