I saw the jacket hanging on the door knob. Apartment 6 was Amanda's apartment, and I don't think that sense of loss will ever leave.
In our last staff meeting we were just talking about how funny it was that all the finger smudges, spills, inappropriate interruptions and general loudness from the younger kids, including Amanda's girls, could be annoying (don't get me wrong, this was an incredible joy too)... but the silence and the uninterruptedness of the day have been far worse than those moments of annoyance.
Across the hall, in Apartment 7 we gathered for our Monday morning bible study. It is a space to share challenges, success, to read God's word, to pray and to grow together. Conversations are often thoughtful and uplifting. This past Monday was full of life and vibrant. It is strange how intermingled death and life are, only separated by a little hallway. It reminded me of this article, and how soil is this space teeming with life and death - and both are necessary to bring growth that sustains us all.
Father, even in the world's brokenness - its pain, trials, and, ultimately, death - you have built in a way for sustenance and abundance. I pray that we receive this graciously. I thank you for your beautiful design... even when I do not understand it. I thank you for the empty places in my life once occupied by those I love, and for those who come in and fill that space differently. I thank you for the growth in my life that has come through pain and love and community. Father I thank you for this community.