During one of those 90 minutes -- one of the last of them, actually -- a man poked his head in my door. I recognized that face, even though it was older and wiser than when I last saw it. Austin was a student of mine several years ago, and he has gone on to amazing things. I haven't seen him for quite a while.
He said he was in town and just dropped by the campus to see if anybody was around. I explained that my colleagues weren't in the office because they had schedules like mine that day, and that I was only a few minutes away from my next obligation, apologizing that I couldn't do more than hug him and promise to spend more time later.
Austin said that he understood, with his usual grace. He didn't seem disappointed or make me feel bad at all. But he did mention one thing he said he needed to tell me.
Not long ago he spent some time out of the country, in a place with only brief and spotty internet access. He told me he would go to my blog and open a bunch of posts in separate tabs. That way he could read through it while he didn't have internet. The blog, he said, was a lifeline.
"I haven't updated it in so long," I apologized. He said it didn't matter. Reading through the years of previous entries helped him stay connected.
My book Prayer Shawl Ministries and Women's Theological Imagination came out last November. I excused myself from a lot of other writing during the two years of intense research, writing, and editing that it took to produce. I've got another book under contract that I am about to start working on in earnest -- another reason to postpone a potential re-commitment to writing more often here. I still have this blog in a lot of social media profiles, and sometimes wonder if I should take it out since it's largely historical.
Well, historical is just one perspective. I'm glad it's here when I need it. And maybe somebody else sometimes needs it. Thanks for the view from across the ocean, Austin.