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When the Guests Leave

I may not have been that invested in Superbowl LII, but I was very intrigued by the planning that went into hosting such a major event. Wireless service providers working to increase capacity of their networks; hospitals preparing for an influx of patients; offices and businesses closing the Friday before the event in order to lessen downtown traffic as visitors descended upon Minneapolis.

Monday after the Superbowl I woke up wondering what it was like in Minneapolis that morning.  Was it a huge downer to go back to ‘normal?’ All that excitement, anticipation and energy, and then just like that – it’s over.

I know this Superbowl reference is a fairly dramatic opening for my own experience, and I’m okay with that…

In January, a group of 13 students descended on Shalom Hill Farm. They were seminary students from Wartburg, Luther and Garrett seminaries, taking part in a J-term course to gain a better understanding of rural culture and ministry. Luke and I had been gearing up for this course since we got here!

The students were excited to be here, eager to visit farms and meet new people.  They listened intently and asked articulate, meaningful questions.  They made me think deeply and laugh often. They showed deep appreciation for the hospitality and home cooked meals we provided. They showered love on our daughter and shared stories of their own beloved family and friends.

This eclectic group of thirteen gave me so much hope for the future of our church, and our society in general. They were a joy to be with, and so when they left – it was a huge downer.  A month later we still miss this wonderful crew.

A few hours ago we said goodbye to another incredible group and we miss them already too.

When the guests leave we wish them well. We hope Shalom Hill Farm has made an imprint on their lives. We hope they feel renewed for what lies ahead.  And we hope they will be back because they are important to us, and to this place.