Monday, June 6, 2011

goodbye harvest hands

I was looking at my calender this evening and realized that this week has been the weed I've been looking forward to for the past two months. Though when I say "looking forward" I mean that in the most literal way possible. I have been scrolling through the months on my phone and wondering what the 6th thru the 10th of June were going to be like. You see, Friday is my last day at work.

I first started with Harvest Hands in January of 2009, though my first experience with "The Harvest" was in the fall of 2008. I went to what is now the old Harvest House and met Jocelyne who at once insisted that I help her with the soap making. Not feeling too sure of myself I did just that, because Brian Hicks wasn't quite ready to meet. When I finally went into that back bedroom Brian explained what they did and I explained what I needed for my practicum. We agreed that I would come in on Mondays from noon to six and Wednesdays from three to eight (for MIMIC). That lasted the entire semester, and then I said goodbye to everyone there. The following summer was spent at Brookwoods, but while I was there I recieved this e-mail from Brian:


Just wanted to send you a note to say hi and let you know that we miss 
you here in Nashville.
Congrats on your graduation--you did an excellent job with us this 

I hope that your summer is going well and I trust that God is doing 
great things in your life.

I was talking with our MIMIC guys the other day and they all agree 
that you are their favorite mentor and they
hope to see you again soon.

Your friend,
Mr. Brian"

Looking back I can still feel how special this made me feel. I didn't respond, but got another e-mail from Brian asking if I was going to be around in the fall, which I said I was. But I also said that I needed a job and if he could give me one that would be great. I ended up with a part-time job at Harvest Hands which I worked into a full time job in January of 2010.

The past two years have been totally different that any I've experienced to this point. There have been struggles and it's been hard. I've come home worn down, like the patch of grass right in front of my front porch. But I kept going back, and never once considered quitting as a solution to the difficulties of ministry. But then Brian asked what I wanted to do. At this point I was working two jobs: running the after school program/mentoring program for the youth and running the coffee company. "Which do you see yourself stepping into?" he said to me. And I told him that I honestly didn't see myself doing either, which was one of the hardest conversations I've ever had. I told him that I saw myself pursuing graduate work and getting a Ph.D. with the hopes that I would teach at the collegiate level. This started me down the long path of quitting.

Then on Halloween I went to a party at Sarah Bartlett's house in Boston. I was in town for a vacation, and John Voge came to pick me up from Sean and Nicole O'Hern's place at MIT. Talking to all the people I knew from camp made me want to get back, and their encouragement to do so pushed me over the edge. I e-mailed Dave and about four months later had a job as a LDP 1 counselor waiting for me. So I told Brian my plan, and we started working towards this week. 

But this week is here now. Tomorrow is Tuesday, the second full day of camp. The day after Wednesday, the retreat. Which bleeds into Thursday. Then on Friday we go to the Zoo for our field trip. Then Saturday, Dad here, and a Drive back to KC with him and Cara. And I don't know what to feel, I don't know what I am feeling.

Perhaps that's not totally true. I'm going to miss Nashville. I am going to miss Ruben, David, Shane, Shawn, Matthew, Melody, Justin, Erik, Tylisha. I'm going to miss Brian, Courtney and Abby. I'm going to miss my mentors. to put it simply: I'm going to miss everything about Harvest Hands. 
The crazyness. Going home, closing my eyes, and hearing nothing but: "Mr. Luke! Mr. Luke! Mr. Luke!"

Shawn trying to hook me up with every girl that walks in the doors.

Making students laugh because I act stupid, and knowing that that's just who I am.

Hanging out with amazing people all the time.

All of it.

So those of you reading who are Harvest Hands: I'm gonna miss you. You've changed my life, and I won't forget that. Be ready to welcome me back in September, if only for a short while. 

Thanks for the past two years. 


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