Many thanks to summer intern Carrie Moses who collected stories and reflections throughout the summer. Carrie interviewed Micah, so their voices are interwoven throughout this piece.
“Therefore, my dear siblings, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Interning at Anathoth for the summer has the potential to feature ten weeks of incredibly formative experiences. Topics are presented, discussed, and mulled over. Skills are planted, pruned, watered, and weeded. Friendships are founded on hard work, respect, and mutual appreciation.
God uses relationships formed and experiences lived out to shine divine light on the world, bringing attention to both heartache and love. Everyday before we make our way out into the fields, the interns meet for check-ins and devotions. Below you will find a devotion written and shared by intern Meagan Fisher. Meagan’s devotion is an honest reflection of her time spent at Anathoth this summer.
Meagan is currently working on her Master’s of Arts in Theological Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. I have had the pleasure of living with Meagan this summer. She is committed to staying true to her convictions all while loving the people God puts in her life. Thank you, Meagan, for long walks, good talks, and our friendship.
From Meagan, July 17, 2018: My dear friends, the end of our time together is drawing near. I honestly cannot express how much I have learned and how much I have enjoyed spending this summer with each and every one of you. I know we still have two weeks left, but this is the last time I’ll be leading devotions and since it is the first workday of our penultimate week, I figured I’d try to express my gratitude. I’ve been asking people if there has been anything about this internship that they weren’t expecting. I’ve received a number of different answers, and although the answer I’ve given has been fairly consistent, it has evolved some. I was not expecting – because I have never experienced before – a place that genuinely accepts every person for who they are. The only word I have to describe it is unconditional love. This place is a fountain, a garden of unconditional love. Whether people carry anger, shed tears, overflow with laughter, feel the weight of the world pressing down upon their shoulders, whether they are celebrating, grieving, lost, afraid, triumphant, or skeptical, this place welcomes and accepts them with open arms. But this place is not just a collection of dirt, tilled and toiled over, its built and maintained and expressed through people, through us, through all of those who came before us and all of those who will come after us, through visitors and interns, through apprentices and co-directors, through board members and dreamers, and through the Holy Spirit who flows and thrives and pulses between us all. The part of Anathoth I’ve been blessed to experience has consisted of each of you.
We have spent a lot time with each other in the past two weeks, and I know that everyone is feeling pretty tired. But I hope we can all truly experience and be rejuvenated by the unconditional love of this place, by the dirt and the Earth who has cared for us better than we have ever cared for it, and by this group of souls whose edges have begun to blur. My dear friends, drink deeply in this holy space. For if we can drink deeply enough, it might just settle into our DNA. In the time we have left together, I hope that you are able to fill your lungs with birdsong, your hands with life-giving soil, and your spirits with Anathoth’s unconditional love pumped by the powerful beating of our own hearts.
Great and gracious God of love, thank you for all that you are and for each person you have created. Thank you for being present with us this summer, for filling the atmosphere of this place with your love and understanding. Thank you for the miracle of life, the uniqueness of each plant, each fruit and vegetable, and each hand that helps to keep it alive. Thank you for the people who receive food from your garden, who get to taste something at Anathoth that the world is unable to offer. Thank you for challenging us to think deeper, to question and engage difficult topics. Thank you for friendship, for laughter, and for a place where we are free to be ourselves. Thank you for diversity, for beauty, and for hope. Renew our strength as we finish out these last two weeks, open our eyes and our ears to experience more of you and more of each other. Pour out more and more of your spirit upon this place and each person it has impacted. Stamp your mark upon our hearts and teach us to carry gardens of your unconditional love with us long after we have left this place behind. May our spirits mirror the resiliency and the fruitfulness of the plants we’ve nurtured this summer. Water and prune the seeds and sprouts Anathoth has planted within us and breathe your breath of life upon us and all that you are calling us to be. Thank you for this summer and for the path that lies before each of our lives. Teach us to live with open hearts and open minds, to live out your love, and to see the world through your eyes. Amen.