“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another . . .”
This weekend, Matt and I drove to Columbia to help out at Rejoice’s annual carnival. We stepped right back in to our old roles. I manned the giant slide, Matt helped out with the games . . . I almost convinced myself that we’d never left. Even as we were cleaning up afterwards, doing dishes and cleaning the bathrooms, I thought that maybe I wouldn’t mind cleaning those bathrooms every week if it meant that I could stay in Columbia. Ridiculous, I know. I hate cleaning bathrooms, but I’m a bit desperate for something even slightly familiar. Saturday night, we met two of my dear friends from my residency program at Shakespeare’s. Even though we didn’t go to Shakespeare’s all that often when we were in Columbia, leaving somehow created this inexplicable deep-seated craving for genuine Shakespeare’s pizza, which was immediately satisfied when ours arrived. Oddly enough, I miss the culture of residency. My new job isn’t particularly intense . . . no hospital work, no newborn resuscitation, no overnights in the hospital, which is great for having a normal life, but I admit that I do miss the occasional thrill of saving lives, sitting up all night watching a sick diabetic’s labs, bagging blue babies until they scream for the first time, slipping into a room to listen to an asthmatic breathe as he sleeps. I suppose I’ll fall out of practice and lose some of those skills over time. It’s only been two months, but I was glad to sit with my two friends and catch up with them and with the wards. Sunday morning we worshipped at Rejoice, and it was everything I needed. It is just so different from where we are now. Somehow, the entire church experience is really different in a place where I am connected to the family of believers than in a new environment. Maybe it shouldn’t be that way. I should probably be able to meet God anywhere on Sunday morning, whether I know everyone else in the room or not. Still, I miss Rejoice and everything that it represents. It was so hard to leave again.