One of the questions I wondered right away at the top of that hill where Jesus showed me the city was: Is the city the village?
You remember the village, right?
It's that image God gave me back before I entered the woods, when I was a bit scared to enter and feeling quite sad about saying goodbye to my cohort group. I had a session with my spiritual director right around then, and she invited me to consider asking God what might be on the other side of the woods. Where would this journey through the woods lead us?
He showed me the village.
So, when we emerged from the woods at the beginning of May and wandered around for a bit, the village was always in back of my mind. I kept wondering when we would come upon it. I wondered what it would look like in our real life -- how it would translate. I wasn't impatient to get there, but I was quite curious about it.
When we ended up on that hill, then, looking down at the city, I felt pretty surprised. Did I misunderstand? Had I misinterpreted the village? Was I missing something here?
I didn't quite know what to make of that city down below. It seemed quite clear to me when we came upon it that the city was meant for ministry and vocation . . . but the village had felt like a place to live. Both images rendered so strong in my mind, and they didn't seem like the same place at all.
But, were they?
It seems like sessions with my spiritual director always come at just the right time. Right when this image of the city emerged on my radar, I had another session scheduled with Elaine. And as usual, she offered me such grace and gentle wisdom: Do you want to ask God if the city is the village?
Yes, I did. And so, I did.
And I learned that the city and the village were not the same thing at all. I also learned that I hadn't mistaken the village somehow. We just hadn't gotten there yet.
So, I turned my attention back to the city. Stay tuned for the next installment . . .