Back in Chicago
It's the city I was born in and spent the first months of my life. It's the city my grandparents moved to and where we stayed during Covenant Annual Meetings during my childhood. It's the city where I lived for 8 years of college and seminary. It's the city where I took my new bride for our first years together. It's the city where our eldest son was born with the attending hands of my uncle. It's the city where my son Luke went to college and seminary and is now living with our daughter-in-law Kelly. It's the city I visit regularly over the years for Covenant committee meetings and Midwinter Conferences.
And in late January/February it's a city wrapped in grey and streaked with salt. People are stern-faced against the wind and layered with coats and sweatshirts, making everyone look like the Pillsbury Doughboy.
Without a worship service nearby, we took the train/bus in to the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. There I watched Martha wander through rooms, making her quiet comments about artists she knows and ones who are new. It's fun to finish a room and have her ask me what stands out and then we talk about what art is and isn't. We had soup and salad and wandered home on busy streets to the subway.
This is not a new place for me, but is at the same time. The churches I have served until now were all in the midwest and driveable to Chicago. We shared the same weather and the same look. Now I am surrounded by green all the time (or draught-induced brown). I don't wear heavy coats and the wind does not make my eyes water and my face flushed. I guess it reinforces that truth I keep bumping back into that I am a resident alien wherever I live.