<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d5742108\x26blogName\x3dDiscount+Bananas\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://soonercary.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://soonercary.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-4225892882570869465', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>

Roll Tide Roll

Here I am at an old coffee shop in one of the most enigmatic places on earth to me: Tuscaloosa, Alabama. So much has changed since the last time I was here almost three years ago. So much new construction on campus. Many old people gone. Lots of new faces. Renovated areas of town. New campus minister. New students.

But so much is the same. There is an aura that surrounds this place that is almost absolutely impossible to describe - it is something that is distinctly different than anywhere else I have ever been - almost like some sort of strange, subtle reality distortion field. I felt it when I first moved here back on January 1, 2004 and I still feel it. This is neither a good or bad thing, it is simply part of the energy that surrounds this place for me, and part of the reason that Tuscaloosa is so enigmatic.

Being here reawakens a lot of amazing memories. Many of these I rehashed with some old friends last night as we sat outside of one of the old favorite dives on the Strip and before we ended up playing Murder at the church building with about 20 people until midnight. Today I'll have lunch at the old City Cafe in Northport, probably head out to the church's dock at the lake for a bit, have a huge southern country dinner made by the .......

[pause....] Just looked over and saw one of the young professors I spent a lot of time with in church and on campus. So now I'm back after 10 minutes of catching up.

[unpause....] lovely DeAnna....

[pause....] one of my old students/friends just popped in for a bit to say hey before moving on to the next job he has as an electrical worker... another 5 minutes of yakking....

[unpause....] (the only college student I have ever known to have a huge deep freezer inside of a tiny college apartment). I truly believe Paul left "Homestyle Cooking" off his list of spiritual gifts, because this has always been a ministry for DeAnna.

All of this leaves me a little sad because I feel like had some unfortunate things that were caused by one important person not happened, I would have had well over twice the experiences here (which already feels like five years' worth) than I ended up having. But I realize that this is selfish thinking because I know that I didn't deserve what I was able to have here, and had it only by the grace of God anyway. He gives and takes away, and he certainly did both to me when it came to my life in Alabama. But, I get to, on occasions like this, revisit this world and bask in the wonders that it did have that still linger. And I continue to have a collection of people that God gave me in Alabama, some of whom have journeyed off to other ends of the country and globe, that I will always be connected to. One poignant moment came near the end of my time here, when one of my very good friends sat in my car with me, after having just faced some terrible situations together, knowing that we will soon be departing for different areas of the country, and said "I hope that we will always be friends." That is the ultimate wonder of the way God works. Our physical proximity will always be temporary, but the effects can truly last forever. Isn't that what happened with Christ? His time here certainly got cut short because of some really awful things, but the effects of his relationships have been eternal.

Much more I could say, but now I am headed across the river with a friend to wait in the half-mile long line at the hole-in-the-wall City Cafe. Looks like I'll have me some fried okra twice today. Life is good.


« Home | Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »
| Next »

Blogger Matthew Vaughan - 2:27 PM

T-Town = My Kind of Place.

Alabama really is like the coolest place ever. I am proud to be from there.    



Blogger Kristy - 2:45 PM

:) Now, I say, "I'm glad we will always be friends..." Hate that I missed out on your southern adventure!    



» Post a Comment