"I lift up my eyes to the hills"

Yesterday, I was talking with some of my classmates from Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and the topic of ‘re-entry’ came up. “How have you found your time re-entering daily life after the two week Summer Intensive?”

People told stories of coming back from CDSP and being asked, “How was your vacation?” It is a hard question to answer. The Summer Intensive was incredibly challenging, and at least for me, it was also incredibly wonderful. I usually just tell my friends it was wonderful. If the ask more questions, I go into details of the daily schedule. A recurring response has been that I am “glowing”.

I remember being told once that the real miracle of the burning bush was not that the bush was not consumed. The real miracle was that Moses noticed. So, I try to keep my eyes open for the daily miracles around me. I pray that God might “help me see the burning bushes around me”. Perhaps I am carrying a little bit of that glow that Moses had after he came down off of Mount Sinai.

Yesterday, the psalms appointed for morning prayer included Psalms 121 and 122.

I lift up my eyes to the hills; *
from where is my help to come?

I remember standing on the campus of CDSP and lifting my eyes up to the hills around Berkeley. This verse would often come to mind. I would stand in the same place several times throughout the day and look up to the hills. Behind me were stairs going down to some of the classrooms and to the refectory where there were snacks and fellowship.

My help comes from the Lord, *
the maker of heaven and earth.

The strength to make it through another hour and a half of Hebrew class when my mind felt like mush came from the Lord. It came in part in the fellowship of classmates as we ate snacks together and talked about our classes.

It also came from another key part of my experience. Across the courtyard from my Hebrew class was the chapel. Most days, we would attend services there in the morning, at lunch time, and in the evening.

One day after my afternoon class, I was so tired I went back to my room. I just wanted to go to bed. There was so much that I was trying to process that I also wanted to be with my classmates and to be in a worship service. The chapel bell rang and I was reminded it was time for evening prayer.

I was glad when they said to me, *
"Let us go to the house of the Lord."

Now, I am back in Connecticut. I’m struggling through papers and Hebrew translations and I look back at my time at CDSP and it was wonderful, and it is great to be carrying some of that wonder with me at home and at work.

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