Yesterday we said goodbye to Peter and Anneke Geel who have lived in the basement apartment at the Mustard Seed House for the last 15 months. We have loved having them as part of our community. We had a great celebration and commissioning time the night before that I am sure all of us will look back with fond memories, but it was still hard to see them leave. Saying goodbye is never easy though it does often create good memories that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. In fact I told Catie that Peter and Anneke are not leaving our community they are just extending it to Washington DC. There will always be a place for them in our house and I am sure that there will always be a place for us in theirs.
Yesterday I also uploaded photos onto facebook from my early days on board the Mercy Ship Anastasis, another community that has played a very important place in my life and which has provided me with family literally all over the world. It was rather a nostalgic moment for me as I looked back over what had a been a very fulfilling period of my life. The Anastasis was scrapped earlier this year and many of us that lived through those early days have been sharing our photos as we looked back remembering both the good times and the struggling times.
Transitions are never easy especially when they mark the end of fulfilling and enjoyable times in our lives but whether they are good or bad they cannot be ignored. When I was on the Anastasis we would mark our move from one port to another with what we called our “Moving of the Ark” ceremony. The night before we sailed we would have a community meeting at which people would share their delight at all the good things that had happened in the port we were leaving. We would have a time of prayer and thanksgiving then take communion together. We would end the evening with a time of orientation for the port that we were about to sail to.
I always appreciated this ceremony. It affirmed and celebrated our achievements and focused us on the good things that God had accomplished through us while at the same time preparing us for change and the new experiences of our next port of call.
How do you mark the transitions in your life?