Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Running on (Almost) Empty

I’m starting to run out of things.

Shampoo, Q-Tips, my favorite soap. The last charge on my beard clippers is finally gone. Last week I wore the last of my shirts that were laundered in Burbank. I found a coupon for a few dollars off of our next bill, and threw it away. In marketing terms, I demonstrate a high degree of product loyalty, something that is being tested as we get settled in this new city. I’ll confess to a little bit of low-grade anxiety as I use up the last of the items that I really like.

It’s such an odd thing to notice, I know, and I don’t want it to be melodramatic at all. But I will say, truthfully, that I got a little sad as my trimmer died in my hand. I remember charging it up for the move. We were at my Mom’s house, which was such a relaxing and nourishing time for us just before we left. We allowed ourselves to be drenched there in good food, happy conversation, visits from friends and family, and a very special Christmas. In the days just before we left I remember trying to make sure that everything got done, and I specifically remember plugging the beard trimmer in so that it would have a full charge when we got to London. Now that last bit of Burbank electricity is gone, and I have to figure out how to charge it here.

That’s not entirely a bad thing.

Part of the transition to living here is learning to sustain our lives here. Some of that came quickly: There are food stores that we found right away where we know we can find what we need. We learned the public transport system almost immediately, because we had to, and now it seems like second nature to us. Some other things took longer, like banking, or having repairs done on the house, or even finding a new place to get my shirts and suits cleaned. The services that we have come to rely on in our daily lives are a big part of anywhere feeling like home. We’re not there yet, but we’re getting closer all the time. And running out of things is helping to move the process along.

In John 6 Jesus says, ‘I am the bread of life. Anyone who comes to me will never go hungry, and anyone who believes in me will never be thirsty.’

That’s pretty clear, but it isn’t easy. I’d love to say that relying on Jesus has made our lives sunny and pleasant, but that’s just not true. It’s not just our stuff that is depleted, it’s also our energy and, at times, our sense of our mission here. The three of us have been huddling in bed every morning for the last week, starting the day with some prayer time together—just for the day, for a sense of purpose, and for a little comfort. What we’re tying to do now, as we run out of the things—and feelings—we brought with us, is to rely on Christ for what we need to truly make a home here. Jesus may promise that we’ll never be truly hungry, but I’ll confess right here that I feel a little peckish.


  1. Anonymous9:32 AM

    OK, John. Send a list of the things you want from Burbank. Be sure your list begins with top proprity items. I will stuff as much as I can in my luggage and bring it to you in April. Think light. I'm getting old and weak. Mom

  2. Dial Soap, Advil, NyQuil (2 giant bottles!), DV cassettes, mascara (not for you silly, for Mom), and anything you need (as long as it doesn't take up priority "Ericka's Clothes" room) will be on it's way in 2 days! Love you guys!


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