I have officially graduated from Yale Divinity School. I have driven over 1800 miles in three days. I have finally moved into the apartment that my wife and I have kept in Austin for the last year. It has, all in all, been a fabulous, joyful, and exhausting time. I have to say, I’m struggling with learning to be at rest now. I still wake up early, filled with a bit of anxiety about what comes next. (What we actually hope will come next: at least two months of real “down time.”) Added to this has been a deep desire to claim this home of ours as a real home for me. Austin, though admittedly hotter than any place should ever be, feels like home. (Though this may be only because it also is home to the lovely lady that I so rarely have gotten to live with, regardless of its very limited ministry opportunities for me.) I woke up this morning and pondered for the first time what life would be like if I never found a settled pastorate, which is indicative only of how easily I can be sidetracked by self-doubt.
Regardless, we are indeed finding a pattern to life here in the Parker household. We’ve set up my workspace, gotten settled enough to run in the mornings from time to time, and enjoyed the simple act of cooking and eating together. Part of that joy has been falling in love with Antonelli’s, our local cheese monger. It’s a husband and wife operation (our age), and so we enjoy going to visit them to try new things, and laugh, and “hm” appreciatively as we listen to the stories of the foods they collect for us.
One of the things I think I will miss the most from my divinity school experience is the large group of seminarians there who have fallen in love with doing deep theology around food and feeding, so I am glad to have this little place where I can be with people who are clearly enriched spiritually by feeding others, even if they don’t use theological language about it. As far as our house goes, we are glad to finally be able to open up our house to people on a regular basis for food and conversation. Some of the grad student population here at UT quite simply does not eat as much as they should, and some simply need a place that can be a hearth-place, a comfortable place for fellowship and time together apart from the demands of the outside world. Anyway, it feels good to do some of that work, whether it remains a ministry simply of food, or something akin to the house/dinner-church traditions that I’ve experienced up north.