I also noticed this morning the carcass of a small mouse. I remember seeing that the last time I walked the path; only now it's little body is completely flattened to the pavement as if it's part of the pavement--a creature of God completely flattened. That little body is an interesting metaphor for me as I transition back to life in Collinsville. I thought about how marginalized people are often flattened by the majority. It becomes difficult for the marginalized to be who they are or to live fully into all that God intends for them. I thought about Palestinians who are marginalized in Israel. The tension is something that Palestinians and Israelis live with every day. I can only imagine that Palestinians feel flattened, as their freedoms are tightly controlled and limited. I don't liken them to the specific creature of God I saw this morning and think of them in the metaphorical sense of how it must feel to be flattened. It saddens me and calls me to pray for them all--for peace among Abraham's children and for all of God's children. Small and lifeless creatures can engender powerful reminders.
The leaves revealed a hint of the change that is already happening and what is yet to come. The change in color is beautiful and also brings an end to the wonder of summer. I think it also calls us to consider the change that is ongoing in each of us. I am certainly changed by the experience of being in a phenomenal class with a learning community that became family for our time together. I am changed by the sights and sounds and smells and peoples of Israel. I am changed by everyone I've met, for they all teach me a little more about God. For that I am incredibly grateful.