God, brilliant Lord, your name echoes around the world.
I am sometimes overcome by what I now recognize as “The echoes of God” around us. I have loved living in Morocco and learning about its history and its people, the natural beauty and the political and social forces that have produced its modern state. Over the years I have loved living in Muslim countries (and a Jewish country) and watching how people understand God and try to reach for him. But more than landscapes and orthodoxies; this year, for me, was about the joy of connecting with the people around us. Our family, our friends, our co-workers and even our door man with no front teeth. I feel sad to leave Morocco in a few months, but I am also energized by the idea of meeting new people, seeing the spark of God in more neighbors and inviting our family into another home across the sea.
I’m kind of a recluse by nature. I’m terribly anxious about social events and I frequently baulk at dinner invitations. But when I push past whatever makes me afraid, I actually enjoy it. This year I’ve realized I’m also a people person by nature. How you can be both, I’m not sure and I shudder at the cliched term "people person" but it's true. My Mom made a comment after she left Morocco that she was surprised how involved I seemed to be with the people at the consulate and how I knew everyone and they knew me. First, it's a small consulate. But second, look at me being social! She's right. I have found so much joy in making these relationships over the past two years. Certainly more than climbing over Moroccan mountains in our corolla or slurping salmorejo in Seville for the first time (but you should know it's a pretty amazing summer soup).