Goodness, I’ve been traveling a lot, y’all! This time, I was off to Tucson, Arizona to take part in a Missional Preaching Seminar. Arriving in Arizona was like arriving on another planet: everything was painted a dusty peach color, cacti of every possible shape and variety dotted the bare landscape and rocky mountains jutted up like pyramids out of the sand. It was unlike any place I’ve been, and utterly beautiful in its own way.
A sudden (and rare) rainstorm appeared, turning bare earth into flooded areas in mere minutes. The contrast of dry and drenched, sun-dappled and dark cloud-covered was stunning.And something monumental happened in Tucson…I had my first In-N-Out burger! They are famous all over the west coast (especially California) and when one of the conference organizers suggested we go there for lunch before I had to preach the rest of the day away, I said YES. It was delicious, with their own special sauce akin to Thousand Island. Yum.
Perhaps the best part of my two days there was getting to meet up with the fabulous Ellen. We were both Young Adult Volunteers (her in Guatemala, me in Belfast) and had not seen one another in 8 years. She’s the campus minister at University of Arizona, and we had the best time catching up. Life has taken us many places in the past 8 years. She’s just a delightful human being. It was wonderful after all that preaching was done to gather in the hotel lobby with folks from the conference and Ellen with glasses of wine and chat the night away.