Nicaragua // 2010 // Day #5

Our time together has come to an end, and truthfully, I am sad about it. I cannot even begin to explain how much I’ve enjoyed getting to know students from the medical school, law school, and get to know my fellow divinity colleagues better. When we met for the first time on Saturday night in Nicaragua, I had a feeling it would be a great, unique experience. I just didn’t expect it to be so deep and enriching. As an interdisciplinary studies major in college, I’ve always appreciated an approach of integrated studies…a wholestic learning. Having faculty and students from the professional schools (med/law/div), I’ve come to see the essential need for a collaboration between professional schools. The first night that we started our time together, we had a discussion on what each profession can bring to the table and offer its services. We explored what each professional school “pro-fessed” and from that conversation, have tried to figure out how to come together from our specific fields. Truth be told, I’ve always seen medicine and law as superior professions to a vocation than ministry. I think maybe I assumed that they have more tangible ways to help a need, whereas a minister could offer more spiritual counsel and services. I’ve come to the conclusion that all professions are essential to the overall welfare of a community. Further, I feel so at peace with my profession as a divinity student. It’s been so encouraging to hear students and professors from both from law and medicine how they see the need for ministers as part of their individual profession.

A few years ago, I realized something about myself. I found that whenever an ambulance drove by and all the cars on the road would yield to the side to let the ambulance pass, a feeling would always overwhelm me. All of the cars saw a need, the emergency passing. Everyone in the car saw the need as greater than their own to get from point A to point B, and put the ambulance first. Everyone worked for the common good. Despite how rude the person was in the car, despite the fact that the green light will change and be missed, everyone works for the common good of the emergency.

The poverty in this world is an emergency. The poverty in Nicaragua is an emergency. The poverty in our own backyards is an emergency. The same feeling that overwhelms me when all cars yield to the ambulance has overwhelmed me on this trip. Our professional schools have yielded to the silos of one’s own school and have come together for the common good. Interdisciplinary at its finest! I have many more thoughts on my experience with the other schools, but I’ve written too much already. I hold these past few days in my heart and will treasure the conversations I’ve had with my colleagues. May these friendships last. May our professions always come together to profess the greater emergency in our communities. May we always work for the common good.

“The very least thing you can do in your life is to figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under it’s roof. What I want is so simple I almost can’t say it: elementary kindness. Enough to eat, enough to go around. The possibility that kids might one day grow up to be neither the destroyers nor the destroyed. That’s about it.”

Barbara Kingsolver, “Animal Dreams”

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