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Two tables are pulled together, chairs pushed around. Room for everyone. Some faces are light with expectation, elbows on the table, smiles bright. Other expressions are soft with contentment. We lean back in our chairs, breathing in the chill air of evening in the city.

A cafe by the canal. The sun touches the roofs of buildings across the waterway. The slow end of a day in the city together. Gathered here, our plates are empty. The embers burn in the small fire for toasting marshmallows.

I gaze at the heat waves as we each reflect quietly on our year together. The wiggly air. Moving focus constantly. Like the future, unclear.

I remember sitting in the unknown a year ago. Looking into the future was like standing at the roadside, gazing into a horizon swept uneven by waves of heat. What my life would be like leaving home, going on my own, doing life in college, new community. It was a haze of a concept. But now it is a strong, clear reality.

I look back and see the snapshots. I could count the memories I hold here in my hands. They are so close I can finger the crisp sides of the photographs. Layers of paper and color. Thin coats of tears and laughs, overlapping, mixing together.

We see you, God. We see You in the past. Your fingerprints are left in the ink. This is the call of remember. We were warned of the consequences of forgetting. In the days of old when they forgot, they slipped out of obedience. They lost their hold of the covenant. Thus, our calling. To find You in the words, in the ink: remember.

So we look for You in the past. We see You on the horizon in the haze. Like the wiggly air, out of focus. But what if the pattern of destiny continues. Reality now will be lost in memories. Turned to snapshots of our history—we cut pieces of tape and stick the photos on the wall.

And everything we are looking for now will be the present then. All the fogginess will be lost in the clarity of reality. Your presence that is sometimes so abstract: this will be complete, full, real. Your eyes piercing soft into mine. Your calloused hand brushing the tears away. Your breath near, warm. Your voice crisp. Your words holy forever. There is strength here, in the hope of clarity.

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