Nothing like being inadvertently outed . . .

If you are nerdy, and you haven’t read today’s xkcd, go now.

Back? Good. So, before heading to class this morning, I read that, and naturally I had to go listen to the song. However, I was already running late for class, so I had to shut my laptop halfway through the song and head off. I’ve done this many times before, as my computer generally takes the “sleep” command to include a “pause” command, and doesn’t restart songs or movies automatically when I open up the computer.

I went to class. I arrived late, as the professor was already talking. I opened my computer. And the song started to play. I quickly slammed shut the laptop to get it back to sleep, but it wouldn’t stop playing. With the computer completely closed and supposedly shut down, it still kept playing, all the way to the end of the song, and I couldn’t do anything except blush profusely and apologize.

Afterwards, a guy from the class walked up to me. “Portal, right?” I blushed again and nodded, then asked if he’d read xkcd. “Yeah, I just did,” he said. “There aren’t that many xkcd fans here.”

I smiled, then. “It’s true.”

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Broad trends, tiny moments.

Things that have happened since I last posted:

  • Semester ended, with all my work turned in on time. (!!!)
  • Flew to Israel. Celebrated Christmas in Haifa at an Arab Anglican church. Actually a really lovely service.
  • Got quite ill with sinusitis, and thus was grumpy, sick, and/or in bed for most of the next week and a half, while the family visited Beer Sheva, Jerusalem, and the West Bank.
  • Returned to Haifa, got antibiotics, and largely recovered.
  • Had foodie adventures, including a wonderful co-op at a local kibbutz (8 kinds of dates! amazing blends of spices! local honey!) and a fabulous Moroccan restaurant.
  • Flew home. Possibly caught another cold from the jerk next to me who wouldn’t turn off his cell phone while the plane was moving.
  • Started classes. Lots and lots of original languages this semester, it looks like.

One day, between Christmas and New Year’s, we were driving by the Sea of Galilee just before sunset. The sky glowed in shades of rose and peach and gold. An enormous flock of little birds, silhouetted in black, flew over the water — swooping upward then falling downward, fluttering about playfully while remaining a cohesive whole. As I watched them, I thought about Matthew 10:29, the promise that God watches and remembers each sparrow’s fall. I usually visualize it as a single sparrow, but in that moment, watching all the birds together, I shivered at the thought of God watching every flicker of those hundreds of wings.

Happy new year.