At my previous church in Minnesota, the Rector’s study overlooked Minnehaha Creek on its way to the Mississippi River. From there I saw everything from bald eagles in the winter to all sorts and conditions of humanity floating downstream in the summer in kayaks and canoes and on inner tubes and at least one homemade raft that Huckleberry Finn himself would have admired. All of that and so much more inspired my first blog, Laughing Water. This photograph shows my last view from those windows.
People were always amused by the variety of things that I could see from there. One friend said that she would miss my updates about those observations, both silly and serious, and wondered aloud what might be seen from the windows of the Rector’s study at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston. Another friend responded jokingly, saying with a wink, “I think a tumbleweed just rolled past your window in Texas! Is that a Texas stereotype?” Well, yes, but . . . when trying to think of a name for this blog, those words came back to me.
In reality, what I can see from the Rector’s study in Houston is no less stunning in its diversity than my previous view. There’s less nature, although the live oaks that line Main Street are beautiful. Mostly what I’m able to see, however, are people – children of all races, playing together on a playground; folks driving past Rice University, many of them heading to the Texas Medical Center; families walking on the sidewalk to the Museum District, Hermann Park, or the Houston Zoo. I always wonder about their lives and the lives of the men, women, and children in my congregation, who share the same dreams and difficulties and disappointments.
Into the midst of that comes the Holy Spirit, connecting the dots between what we believe, or desperately want to believe, on Sunday and what we are asked to do after the alarm clock goes off on Monday. It seems to me that the metaphor of a tumbleweed surprising us, unsettling us, amusing us, rolling down Main Street past the church and the university and the largest medical center in the world, is appropriate for these musings from the Lone Star State. Thanks for reading them.