Hiking uncharted territory

A hike on a familiar trail is comfortable. We know the twists and turns, the views and resting spots. These days, we find ourselves in unknown territory. It is harder to find our way. We do not clearly see the terrain ahead nor do we really have a map. (Did you recognize this map of Charlottesville?!)

How do you navigate the unknown terrain of our current times? What new paths are you discovering?

I am from Iran

painting by Hasan Abu Talib

I am from Iran

9 yards of black polyester

slowly invisibly suffocating

anger waiting to explode

amidst beautiful, hospitable people

picnics by the side of the road

fragrant rice, gourmeye sabzi, shirin-e pollow

pulling my chador off while walking into the airplane – 

leaving … to Fairouz singing …. kifak inta? (how are you?)

Where have you found challenge and beauty together in one place?

Breathing deeply

I am from Κοβρος – (Cyprus)

stepping off the plane – 

breathing deeply… letting go

ocean blue nourishing the soul

Lebanese Cheese pies in the Ayia Napa Monastery

resting, belonging, connecting

laughter, food, friends

nourishing, sustaining, renewing

What refreshes your soul? When or where do you breathe deeply?

Old city of Damascus

painting by Hisham Khayyat, 1992

I am from the old city of Damascus 

dusty, ancient, vibrant, 

Christian, Jewish, Muslim 

narrow alleys winding, twisting, intersecting

shaded oasis within 

filled with the smell of jasmine

dinners on the roof – allah u akbar

What dust do you have on your feet? What cultures have added color and flavor to your life?

Dwelling with the word

I am from AMBS

dwelling within the word

a seminary, a community, 

spiritual friends searching together

sunshine under cloudy Indiana skies

empowered, nudged and commissioned

Who has empowered you?

AMBS is Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana.

The Hermitage

I am from The Hermitage 

A barn remodeled

for silent encounters with God 

rustic, beautiful, at peace

people on a journey

formed, held, beloved

called, sent…holy ground

Where and how have you been shaped?

The Hermitage is a retreat center in southern Michigan.