It’s cold and dark and I am surrounded by boxes in my office at The Hub. I can’t find anything, the internet is intermittent, and my computer won’t recognise the printer so I can’t print off anything for tonight’s meeting. I feel like I’m living out of a couple of shopping bags as I’ve taken all my files home for safe keeping. We are on the move and isn’t it a pain!
I have moved house many times during my life, I’ve even moved to the opposite side of the world, and I never really like the process of moving. I’m like a plant – I like to send roots deep into the earth so I am grounded and find nourishment and room to grow. I send out shoots and leaves when there’s plenty of sun and water and food, and I shut down when the sun disappears behind gloomy grey clouds. But the reality is that we are on the move and I can’t escape it, no matter how hard I try.
The fact is that very few of us actually enjoy the process of moving house or office or building. It’s a pain. Yes, it’s a chance to cull our belongings and find homes for things we never use, it’s a new beginning somewhere wonderful and the opportunities may be exciting, but the actual process of putting things into boxes, forgetting which box, being without something we suddenly need, frankly it is painful.
I’ve only been in The Hub for a year but I created a little haven in that end office with all my family and ‘intergen’ ministry books and resources, the pictures drawn for me by the children, and all the thank you cards people have sent me. They are all safely boxed and ready to be moved with the label ‘Claire room 3’ but they aren’t on the shelves and accessible. I can’t see them. The room feels cold and empty without my stuff.
The inconvenient truth is, though, that even with my stuff in boxes, I am still able to be a Minister of the Word. Shocking though it is, I don’t actually need my wooden Noah’s ark to visit someone in hospital, or write the reflection for Sunday, or listen to someone’s story of loss or hope. Uncomfortable though it is to acknowledge, my stuff is useful only to me – it inspires my thoughts, it brings me comfort, it resources my work, but no one else would miss it if (heaven forbid!) it should get lost in transit between The Hub and WFD.
Our new set up at Westfield Drive – thank you to everyone who has worked so hard on preparing and organising everything – will be different, a bit squashy and perhaps not as convenient as Templestowe. There aren’t as many cafes within a minute’s walk, or an IGA ten minutes away, and certainly no Westerfolds Park down the road! However, there are other places I will be able to explore like the Church of Christ worship space which is being renovated, the public square and library, and perhaps I might even be brave enough to enter Shopping Town.
As we work out where things go in the new space, and as we work out how we will work in that space, please be gracious with us and be patient. We will put things where you don’t believe they should belong, we will use things that perhaps you want to use too, and we will be bringing over the tools of our trades to enable us to work at Westfield Drive. Like new house mates sharing a home, we will need to work out how we are going to live together in the new space. Come and say hello to us, drop by and see how it’s all going. But please come with grace and love as we unpack and start again. And I will get on with the business of repotting my roots so that they find the nourishment and support that we all need to thrive and grow.
Peace, Rev Claire