September 12, 2021
If you’ve ever been on a company retreat, or started a new school, or been to camp, or most anything else where a bunch of people who don’t know each other get together, you’ve probably participated in one of those icebreakers. One that’s used often but can easily be really hard is the one where you’re supposed to come up with one word or phrase that would best describe you. Have you ever had to do that? What was the word or phrase that you came up with?
But then, there’s sometimes another angle to the question. What word or phrase would other people use to describe you? Sometimes that can be easier, because we have an idea of how people see us. We can get a feel for what they think of who we are by the way we act around them, what our conversations are like, and how they react to who we are. Generally, I think we like to know what other people think of us.
September 5, 2021
This past week, the official “last plane” flew out of Kabul airport, ending our twenty years of war in Afghanistan. I have friends across the political spectrum, so we all had a lot of varied reactions to how it all went. There was anger, there was relief, there was regret, but above it all floated this sense of shocked grief. We were paralyzed: what, if anything, can we do? It felt really powerless to watch as this tragedy unfolded.
But then Annie got a message from one of our friends, a pastor who had served in South Dakota. Sami Johnson—she offered a video sermon for us over the summer. Sami’s husband Josh is a chaplain in the Navy, so they are posted in Rota, Spain right now, and in her message she told Annie that the base was going to be receiving some 150 Afghan refugees. These people had fled with basically just the clothes on their backs, and Sami and others on the base were trying to get basic supplies ready for them. She told Annie and some other friends that she understood the feeling of powerlessness, but that if we wanted, we could Venmo her some money to help buy supplies for these incoming refugees.