Blessed, and blessed, and blessed. 

  
Oh, it’s so beautiful in Elkhart tonight!

If I were certain this week were my last, I don’t think I could have asked for more…

  

  • A massive ice cream party with blobs of Neapolitan melting on the porch boards and three friends scooping flavors until they were sticky. 

  

  • My neighbor Mary, dipping her finger into canola oil poured into the bottle cap to grease her cupcake liners because “I don’t like that spray stuff. It makes the muffins sticky.”

  

  • Elkhart, the city of extremes! Where behind the picnic table pushed into the river, is a wizened man with a collection of plastic bags, dismounted from his bike, feeding the ducks. 
  • The purple retaining wall holding up the McDonald’s parking lot, pockmarked with missing bricks. I couldn’t help touching a few things today… What if I never come back?…. And I touch the retaining wall lightly, fingertips grazing it, as I pass. 
  • Cars gunning angrily around the drive thru. Me sitting on another retaining wall, typing my blog, sort of unaware that darkness has fallen and I suppose I should go home. 

  

  • My bridge! Oh yes it is mine, don’t even think of arguing. The rough wood, the fallen leaves, and the footware that I nearly wore out in the hospital halls.  But I plan to wear them all over Lebanon and Jordan, just as I wore them all over PCU and CCE, and into the operating room to interrupt the surgeon. 
  • The Muslim family at the foot of the bridge, the baby daughter toddling behind in her dress. Your kids are so beautiful! Thank you, they say. 

Best of all… And even though I have no photo, I will feel the power of this moment for days:

  • My “family” in Elkhart circling around me and praying for my trip to the Middle East today at church. 

I am so blessed. If I die tonight, God could not have given me anything more.  His presence, I think, is what makes these moments eternal. 

And his presence is something we can never outrun. 

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