It was an early Monday morning in August, the 25th to be exact. I walked into room 322 for my third “first day” within those four walls. I’ve learned more in the space between those walls than I have in just about any other room on this campus.
Verses have been read, tears have been shed, and I have been challenged to both know and defend what I believe. Those walls hold up the building just like faith holds up my often weary spirit — but on this Monday I was set to learn about a different spirit.
I just didn’t know it yet.
Contemporary Theology is what the syllabus says, but every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning I show up in 322 and we talk about the Holy Spirit. Each night I pull out a thick book or two and dive into a sea of words I can barely spell, let alone speak.
It’s challenging and what I’m learning stretches beyond those four walls. We aren’t learning about grammatical errors or doing math equations, we’re learning about a Person, the One that wrote the Book and created the minds that add and subtract.
I read it this weekend and immediately drew brackets around it, these words about the margins and the forgotten.
We must listen to the ‘margins’ by allowing the hitherto voiceless and often nameless to speak.
It feels near impossible to read those words without wincing. We are losing the stories of those who have gone before. They are dying and we haven’t been listening and their names — their stories — are disappearing.
Oh, may that not be our generation. May we ask and then stop to listen.
Could we simply do the asking so that they can do the telling? Could we learn and take in, could we create a safe place for stories to be shared?
Who are the nameless, the voiceless? Where are they? Not too far from where you are, I presume. They aren’t far from me, either. I want to be one that stops. I want to be one who asks and then waits for the answer and the telling.
Every story is beautiful because every story matters. Even the ones of those who don’t have a name. May we be a walking and breathing room 322, a safe place for the telling.