A Big Day

A big day! This morning I received a letter telling me that I am finally a lawful permanent resident of the United States. It was a surprisingly emotional moment. I didn’t think I was waiting on that result consciously; we sent in the application almost exactly one year ago. But when it came, I teared up.

It’s raining. It’s reaching the time of year here where every day people say “looks like the rain’s gonna finally come, starting tomorrow”. Everyone is very interested in exactly when it’s going to start raining, but as soon as it does, they stop checking their weather apps. Once it starts, it will never stop, or so it feels.
We went into town today, and I brought some jeans with me to be repaired. I was an hour early to the shop though, and Al had things to do, so I went to Powell’s Books and found something I’d been looking for for a while: the Bible. We used to have a copy, but it seems like we don’t anymore. Mine, which was gifted to me by a benevolent English teacher when I was about 11, mysteriously disappeared, and Al’s maybe never existed.
I found a copy of the ‘New Revised Standard Edition’ and sat down to see what was what. I flicked through book after book, lines of text jumping out at me, full of words like ‘righteous’ and ‘ashes’. Finally towards the end of the book I reached a blank page, and then one labelled “New Testament”. I don’t know if you’ve looked at a Bible recently, but there is a lot of Old Testament. I recently learned that the Old Testament is a lot older than Jesus, and that the New Testament is the only bit that deals with his life. Here I was then! We dove straight into the life of Jesus, from his lineage to his upbringing, and pretty swiftly to the Sermon on the Mount. It is of course impossible to know how much of it is the verbatim words of Jesus, but one still gets a feel for his message. Phrases like “you are the light of the world”, “let your light shine”, “love your enemy”, “you cannot serve two masters”, rang in my mind with the echoes of songs I’ve heard. Son House, Blind Willie Johnson, even Bob Dylan (“Gotta Serve Somebody”).