Here & There

Here’s a fine continuation of Lenten contemplation from this past Wednesday’s chapel, this time from the desk of Adam Perez. His piece originally wove through Dr. Reppmann’s and Jennifer Hill’s meditations on 2 Corinthians 5, where Paul reflects that “whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.”


It’s hard to be here, because I wish I were there.

I am here at Trinity, and I am engaged to Hannah, who is a student at Hope College in Holland, Michigan. It’s not like I want to get out of doing my work for school, church, relationships, or otherwise. It is just hard to be split. Divided. Halved. To have a heart dislocated somewhere between Holland and “the Heights,” Palos Heights, that is.
As I get situated for an evening at my desk doing homework, my dual-monitors become a collage of programs necessary for the long-haul of homeworking. Microsoft Word stretched across my main screen for writing, my other screen cluttered with the internet, Spotify, and a window for instant messaging – my fiancée Hannah on the other end.
This plain little messaging box is a symbol of my longing to be with her and not here at my desk. A little window into which I stare, longing, waiting, hoping, counting down the days. A life filled with the permanent and the temporal, the certain and the uncertain, the beautiful and the broken – a life of rawness akin to those the Psalmists endure and envision.
How can I be motivated to do my Music homework like trying and tell the difference between the sixty-seven Haydn string quartets? Or worse, to have to just listen to 12-tone compositions at all?

Why is my very life connected by the stroke of a key rather than by a stroke of the hand?
I want to be there, but it’s good to be here.
My desk isn’t that bad though, it’s where I both work and play, read and write, load up my books for class and upload my thoughts to the Internet. It is where I message friends far away, play games with roommates, and enjoy time in my own world listening to music that my roommates don’t let me play aloud. It’s my home-base for my life at Trinity – and life here is pretty good.
I have grown into my shoes as a person, a student, and as musician while I have been here, and Hannah has grown into her shoes while there. Sometimes I wonder if being at the same school as Hannah would be detrimental to my schoolwork – how much less motivated would I be if we were able to spend the evenings sitting in the library together “doing homework?” Being apart has been very important to our development of our identities. 
Somehow, I’m already there, even while I’m here.
As I look forward to not having to fight this internal (and sometimes external) battle of “here or there,” in some way, I know that I am already living in the reality of our not-so-distant-future together. In between the now and later, the already and not-yet, we are found together in the Spirit who has already made us ‘new creation’, fulfilling and sustaining our waiting and hoping – calling us and helping us to dwell in the tension of God’s sense of space and time.
  • Adam Perez

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