Tuesday, January 17, 2012


As we read through the communion liturgy, the sound of children enjoying Sunday school in the next room begins to grow. It always seems as though the children store up all of their energy during the noisier parts of the service and hold on to it until it comes time for the silent prayers of confession. As we bow our heads the dam breaks and mighty roars of laughter flood our worship space.

It's one of the charms of worshiping in a minuscule space. It's one of the joys of having a full children's Sunday School. It's one of the challenges of making do and making things work.

The other day I mentioned the large out-door staircase that leads to my house. The day after I posted about it, I fell into one of the potholes while going down the stairs.

It was dark and I should have been going slower; being more deliberate with each step. But, I was in a hurry and I rushed down the stairs. A grandmother with her small grandchild was occupying the safe section of the steps and I moved to a different section to get around them. I felt my ankle twist under my leg as my foot found its groove in the missing section of step. I caught myself and managed to gain some traction before any further damage was done. I hobbled forward and didn't feel anything. I regained feeling at the bottom of the stairs and realized that there was no way I was walking back up the stairs - so I went on my way.

My ankle is feeling better now. It's still sore some times; but thankfully I didn't have to go to the hospital and I only had to stay off it for a few days.

I'm spending the month of January focusing on reconnecting with Ukrainian culture and improving my ability to communicate in Ukrainian.

I'm the kind of person who enjoys getting things done. I accomplish things. This is my personality. For me it has been very frustrating to not get wrist-deep in the day to day life and ministry of the student center.

But I have to realize that there are many pits and potholes along the stairs in Ukraine. If I don't slow down and take each step deliberately I will certainly fall and this time I might do some serious damage.

These first few steps [learning more grammar, improving my vocabulary, working to pronounce sounds more distinctly, and making statements with the proper (read: non-American) intonation] are boring and difficult. It's easy to fall into a full-force run and to assume that everything will be fine in the long run.

This is the joy of making do and making things work. It applies to small worship spaces just as much as it applies to getting more disciplined about language lessons.

As my mother always pointed out, "A stitch in time saves nine."

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