It has been exactly three and a half weeks since I departed from the ever-ominous London Heathrow airport, and thus away from the city I had come to love, and in it many cherished friends. A few even came to see me off, which was very much appreciated (you’re golden – you know who you are ;))!
The evening before I took that bittersweet hop across the pond was spent with many of you in Shannon and Rachel’s flat, making bunting (thanks for the sewing lesson, Jo!), eating lots of veg (thanks for the culinary artistry, Shannon and Andy!) and toasting to many memories. I cannot articulate how loved you all made me feel, whether through your incredibly generous and unique gifts (I mean really, I have a whole new London themed room now!), your hilarious and sweet toasts and cards, or simply your warm smiles and goodbye hugs. It was a night for the books that I think of often. Oh, and of course, like a true Matryoshka Haus send-off, the final goodbye at the Captain Kidd was good fun as well!
I think that my last night in London was incredibly telling of what I learned through interning with Matryoshka Haus. For me, everything can come back to the idea of communion, friends around a table, sharing in something greater than themselves. For my last evening, that meant memories made together and funny stories. For the Learning Lab, it meant cross cultural relationships founded on love and mission. Sometimes it meant prayer, and true communion with Christ. Often it was curry or coffee and simply sharing stories and hopes with another.
One of the pieces of Rob Pepper’s Doxology series (which we had the pleasure of viewing and hearing about during the Learning lab) was Jesus and His disciples sharing in the last supper. He used gold-leaf to highlight the table and the chandelier, making those the focal point rather than any of the people in the drawing. I think there’s so much truth to that. Rob’s lovely interpretation of the last supper combined with my own last supper (for now, that is ;)) got me thinking. We each bring things to the table, but the table is the only sound thing, the only glorified thing– The gathering transcends what we bring.
I am endlessly grateful for Matryoshka Haus, it’s projects, and its people. Thank you Londoners, and know you are always welcome at my table in the States. May The Lord bless you and keep you, make his face to shine upon you, and give you peace.