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December 04, 2010

Mosaic of Memories

Mosaic of Memories

Once in a lifetime does a program such as Semester come around—a sabbatical of monkish life, of intense study and habitual seclusion with forty other people. Sadly, only a limited number of lifetimes will actually taste what can take place in three months inside these wooden walls.

Friday night, those three months culminated in a wonderful graduation ceremony celebrating our time here. We ate a splendid three-course meal: tomato bisque soup, followed by a Caesar salad, and finally a full plate of chicken and vegetables. For dessert, we were served angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream. Our staff provided the table service, keeping us hydrated and the courses coming. Our dining hall was decorated with Christmas lights around central pillars and wreaths hung 360 degrees around the room. Dim light adorned the faces of loved ones – parents and families – filling our temporary home. The hearts of forty people were weighed down with a mixture of joy and sorrow.

Eric Smith, I would like to thank you for your encouragement both as my mentor and as a teacher. I have nothing but respect for the person God has worked out in you. Jason, I thank you for your example of a well-lived life and your challenging each of us men to live fearless and faithful. I am blessed to call you a friend. Mary and Allison, great job keeping all those girls in line – I appreciate both of your friendships. Nathan and Shelley, for your examples of work ethic, kindness, and wisdom. Thank you for everything you do around here. Amanda and Sterling, the best cooks we could have asked for. Thanks for feeding our bodies as our professors fed our minds. Dr. Bauman, Dr. Williams, Dr. Moreland, Mr. Mandt, and Mr. Stonestreet—you have changed the way we think and live. Thank you for your devotion to the gospel and raising up men and women who can subdue it well. And to my wonderful classmates, my brothers and sisters, what do I say to you? God's sovereign plan meant for each of us to be here. Bringing your own colors and hues, we have created a beautiful mosaic of memories and relationships which do not end driving away from this property. Thank you for your patience and kindness, for the conversations—everything from favorite bands to predestination and why all those Hittites had to die. I am forever a better man because of all of you.

We traveled a long road together, friends. We have survived Bauman University and Soul Sister every work crew. We were forced, one day after meeting, alone into a room together and told to write out our own community values and rules. We emerged four hours later with some semblance of order and perhaps a bit more realistic precept of each other. We began as thirty strangers. We depart as thirty of the closest siblings. We have argued. We have hugged. We have shed tears. We have read the better parts of at least fifteen books. We have written about sin and summed up the story of the Bible in 300 words. We have written sonnets and blogs. We learned to crochet and play volleyball. We have been sledding on both snow and sand. We have shared in worship and prayer. We have carried each other, in the words of Elizabeth, both figuratively and literally. Remember this place. Remember the friends you made and the habits you formed. Do not so quickly forsake the person you became here. Question well. Love well.

Twice on graduation night this poem from Gerard Manly Hopkins was read:
“For Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men's faces."

My final charge to each of you: Don't ever stop staring at the fish. Ideas have consequences and so does crocheting in the classroom.

Blogger's Bio: Having been called out of conventional education to serve as a youth director at a church, Kevin has recently thought about going back to school for a Church History or Theology major. “I have a growing passion for seeing true disciples of Christ living out their radical faith and impacting the world.” Kevin wants to run a home for young boys caught in a downward spiral. He enjoys woodcarving, reading, writing, and remains in awe of every mountain peak he has summitted.

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  • December 12, 2010 // 07:02 pm //  # 
    Daphne Lomax's avatar Daphne Lomax

    Kevin, We wanted to thank you for being a mentor and friend to Dustin. He has a great respect for you and the model of Christ you presented. We hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas!

    In Christ, Lynn and Daphne Lomax

  • December 31, 2010 // 07:38 pm //  # 
    Keith Jarrett's avatar Keith Jarrett

    Kevin, your description of summit semester is outstanding. I must contact Eric to see whether I can attend this years semester… peace xo.

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