There are still a couple weeks until graduation, but I think I'll probably run out of time to do this properly. Though a little premature, this is my note of deep gratitude and farewell to the S-LC.
I find it a little ironic and a lot sad that I'm leaving the place that taught me so well to love Grand Rapids. I'm struggling to understand what it means to anticipate leaving a place in which I learned to invest in my city. I'm anxious that I won't be able to convince myself to invest in a new place. Still, I'm excited to start graduate school and to settle into a new place. That I'm wrestling with leaving and anticipating re-planting is a testament to the good work, the kingdom work of the people at Calvin College, I think. As Jeff likes to remind us, our work in the Service-Learning Center is most truly measured by qualitative evidence.
I've been thinking recently about community and what role community has in shaping people. I'm convinced that communities like the Service-Learning Center cultivate people of paradox, the kind of people who are at once present and kingdom-minded. I know that the S-LC will continue to change and grow, but I'm confident that the people here will always be asking hard questions and pursuing truth. I'm proud of the person that will be graduating from Calvin College on May 18, and while I know that I'll likely find another community that will challenge me and change me, I hope I'm able to hold on to part of the person that's been shaped by this place. I hope that despite the demands of graduate school, I will still leave room for art and challenging reading and good music and service-learning.
Thank you to all the people that taught me to read Wendell Berry (and to disagree with him a little), to the people who introduced me to good music, to the people listened to me rant and tempered my impatience with hope.