trips to detroit for me are often filled with nostalgia and connections with my past. jeannie and i attended the wedding of our good friend rolly richert (whom we originally know from our time in wheaton, where rolly and his family were part of our church). rolly lives across the street from where my home church in detroit was located, and his kids both graduated from the same high school i did. so there were tons of people from my childhood and teen years at the wedding, in addition to people from my current YS world, since rolly directs the main stage at our conventions. i had one of those ‘small world’ episodes at the wedding also, as one of the senior VPs from zondervan was there (zondervan is three hours away from here, on the other side of the state), and neither of us had any idea we were both connected to rolly.
the church i attended most of my life while growing up (ward presbyterian, in livonia) moved several years ago, and it was totally surreal to drive past the old location and see it completely gone, replaced by a strip mall and some condos. it felt like a part of my history had been stolen in some way. the memories are all there, but the place is gone.
on our way to the wedding, jeannie and i drove past the house i lived in during junior high and high school, and had a nice chat with the young couple who live there now.
on saturday, while driving somewhere, we happened to be very near the company where jeannie and i met, so we swung down that street to show our kids. the last time i’d seen it (a couple years ago), it was closed down and in disrepair, with weeds all grown up around the building. this time, it was…. gone! replaced by a big new building of another company. another significant ‘place’ in my story that no longer exists outside our memories. weird.
jeannie and liesl are in chicago for three days with my sister and my niece, and max and i are on day two of what we’re calling “Max Fest”. yesterday, we went fishing at a stocked trout pond, and he caught two fish; then we went golfing with my dad and bro-in-law. we finished the evening with board game with my parents and a dinner of popcorn and smoothies — a perfect max day. today he’s at a waterpark with my parents, and i’m at starbucks getting caught up on some things.
a significant mentor in my life as a teenager was my church worship pastor. he was one of the first people to nurture leadership stuff in me, and is a large part of why i do what i do today. but i hadn’t seen him or connected with him in about 8 years. so i got his phone number, and just had a wonderful 90 minute catch-up with him here at starbucks. what a great opportunity to affirm the role he played in my life. then i connected with my friend jason raitz for an hour. jason is leaving detroit to join the middle school ministry staff at willow creek in a couple weeks, and i’m very excited for him. he’s a great guy, and i’m pumped that willow sees his potential. and tonite i’m hanging out with my best friend from my childhood and teenage years. we see each other whenever i’m in detroit, and it’s always great to connect.
i love seeing all the interconnected parts of my life and story like this. it’s always such a great reminder of god’s presence in my story.