March 20th Newsletter
Grace and peace be with you on this first day of spring! The long (haha) Texas winter is finally over! Over the last week, we have hosted two sets of family members from Minnesota and North Dakota escaping the snow in the upper midwest. The winter and snow that is delightful in December is miserable by March. So they were driving south to get some relief. If you’ve been a long-time Wacoan, I think you might be surprised to hear just how much they loved Waco—everything from the soil (It’s beautiful!) to the neighborhoods (“Charming!”) to Cameron Park and the University (“Beautiful!”) to the food (“Delicious”). I’m not trying to be a Chamber of Commerce rep here, but I just think it’s interesting to hear the first reactions from visitors to our town. For a long time Waco wasn’t . . .uh . . .necessarily a destination. Now their friends back home are literally writing this, “I dream of going to Waco. It’s on my bucket list.” One of their favorite spots to visit was DaySpring. On Monday evening, we brought them by the campus to take a look around. It was just that time in the evening when the light softens. Those of you who mow, weed, and garden have been earning an A+. Everything was beautiful. Inside the sanctuary, the worship band for Young Life was warming up as students were beginning to mill around. There was a peace and spiritual energy here. We could all sense it and I think it was a highlight of their visit to Waco. I’ve been a little prouder of our city this week.
That’s not to say we don’t have our challenges. Last night I attended the School Board open meeting at which community members were invited to share their opinions about the WISD superintendent’s recent arrest for possessing marijuana. I have two children in Waco ISD and care very much what happens with our schools. For everyone involved, this has truly been a strange and unfortunate situation. I don’t think anyone envies the School Board who has difficult decisions to make about Dr. Nelson’s situation, but last night I was proud of our community in an entirely different way than the tourist’s experience. Person after person from every corner of the city spoke last night with thoughtful, powerful reflections on their experiences in the district and their hope for our children. I was particularly impressed with several of the speakers who encouraged the Board to work out a solution that included both accountability and redemption. I have hope the Board will be able to find their way to such a solution, but regardless of how this turns out, my appreciation and my respect for the people of Waco grew last night.
If it comes to your mind, please say a prayer for Dr. Nelson, the School Board, and everyone involved in this. Let us lift them up, prompted again to pray for children and families all over the city.
God’s peace to you in this week, in the ways you need it the most,
For more updates and events, click here to view the March 20th newsletter.