I’m on a two-day road trip of sorts. An East Texas road trip.
I have traveled to Houston to “go back home again” to Beth’s restored home, and to help with some necessary tasks for settling back into the home. Also to share good worship with the people of St. Mary’s and to enjoy Mother’s Day brunch with Beth.
And it turned out a road trip was on the travel agenda.
This afternoon we journeyed to Camp Allen, a hotel and conference center serving the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. It’s also a summer camp. My sons attended camp here as youngsters. It’s where they learned to sleep away from home. Good spiritual and independence formation.
When one gets beyond urban borders, East Texas has a special kind of beauty. Big, open countryside.
Reminds me of the Indigo Girls’ song Wide Open Spaces. “She needs wide open spaces, Room to make her big mistakes….”
I relished every twist and turn in the road, every field we passed.
After we arrived, I relished indoor spaces. This place and space is gorgeous, decorated with wood from the East Texas Piney Woods and with windows showcasing the views outside.
Tonight we were present for The Service of Evening Prayer.
“Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light, we sing your praises….”.
Beth is here to teach students attending The Iona School for Ministry. This is a program of the diocese that provides training for those called to the bi-vocational priesthood or the diaconate.
Worship was led by one of the students and included a lovely homily. These words gave me pause: “We cannot love an invisible God if we don’t love our neighbors who are visible.”
Following the service I walked the labyrinth. As I twisted an turned on my way to the center and back, I heard the closing hymn playing in my ears and on my heart. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you, allelu, alleluia.”
While Beth teaches, I blog. Surrounded by so much beauty.
Here’s the bonus. I met one of the diaconate students. Turns out she is is Southwest Airlines pilot. And actually is the one who hired my pilot son some 15 years ago. Small world.
We drive home tonight, and return tomorrow afternoon. Road trippin’ in East Texas.