Friday, August 5, 2005


reflecting back over this past week, a multilayered God encounter has revealed itself to my sometimes well insulated mind. last saturday, the milan vineyard worship team led worship at the ann arbor vineyard church's saturday evening celebration. i came along for the sheer pleasure of it all, and to help take care of our kids while Ronni did her thing.

my dad's sermon (which was excellent) was about the role of the senses (sight, hearing, taste, touch, smell) in experiencing God. the senses like the gates to the temple that we are. enjoyment of God-provided pleasures (through nature, people, words, music, etc) as way for the joy of the Lord to be our strength. afterwards, during prayer ministry time, Don (associate pastor at the a2 vineyard) anointed me with oil and prayed a blessing over my senses that they might be awakened to holy enjoyments.

driving home to milan that evening, as i exited u.s. 23 onto willis road going west, perhaps the most beautiful sunset i've ever seen arrested my attention. the light was gold, brushed with the oranges and reds of wood embers, soft, almost fluffy, and warm, flooding the woods surrounding the old psychiatric hospital. the sun was melting on the horizon like a glob of honey, swelling, pulsing, singing, slow dancing with the tall, lanky trees as they glided past my window. the air seemed to glow and swirl along the ground, leaving thousands of droplets of dewy light to settle on the grassy ground. for the eighth of a mile before the stop sign at platt, i was enthralled. my thoughts stretched out like a cat awakening from a nap, my breathing slowed, my heartbeat found some ancient rhythm and settled into it's grooves. at platt, i let the car idle and drank in the pleasure. how long, i'm not sure. it felt timeless. probably just a few seconds. then another car drew up behind me, and i turned south towards home, the glory slipping back behind me.

that night was / will be / will have been? the last night we spent/d? in milan for a couple of months. we moved after church sunday morning into my parents home in ann arbor, and we'll be here until our new house is completed near the end of october. this is one of the houses i grew up in, in the city i was born in and spent my entire childhood living in. and strangely, though the house is full of love and peace, and though everytime i've visited for Christmas or a birthday party or some other such occasion, i've felt in some sense like i'm coming home, and though i have great affection for the city of ann arbor and though i'm cheering on God's activity here, i feel distinctly 'away from home'. blessed? yes. happy? yes. loved? yes. in God's will? yes. well provided for? yes. home? yes at one level that's real and true, but also no, at another level that i've never really realized before. and i've noticed that every time i drive into milan now, whether to go to the office, or clean up something at our old house, or to check out the progress on the new house (682 Poppy Lane, btw), i feel like i've come home.

and then driving through downtown milan the other day, the thought came to me, perhaps for the first time, God wants to make this city great. great in what sense, i have no specific idea. but great, for sure. i have the impression the Lord must be up to something significant over this brief time away, either doing something in my heart, or revealing something in my heart, or probably both. looking forward to it all.

more on the sunset significance in the next post...but have to run now, off for the closing on our st. louis street house. praying the new owners experience as much blessing and joy there as we did.


Anonymous said...

poppy lane-- is that a beatles song? it should be.

Milan is a city established in 1831 that straddles the border between Monroe County and Washtenaw County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 4,775. Approximately half of the city is located on the northern edge of Milan Township in Monroe County. The other half is located in York Township which is in Washtenaw County.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.0 km² (2.3 mi²). 5.8 km² (2.2 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 3.45% water.

As of the census of 2000, there are 4,775 people, 1,923 households, and 1,271 families residing in the city. The population density is 823.1/km² (2,127.4/mi²). There are 1,999 housing units at an average density of 344.6/km² (890.6/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 94.30% White, 1.74% African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.69% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.72% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. 3.50% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 1,923 households out of which 36.7% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.1% are married couples living together, 13.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 33.9% are non-families. 28.0% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.1% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.48 and the average family size is 3.04.

In the city the population is spread out with 27.6% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 34.2% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 33 years. For every 100 females there are 92.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 87.9 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $48,510, and the median income for a family is $57,596. Males have a median income of $45,409 versus $26,926 for females. The per capita income for the city is $23,895. 4.9% of the population and 2.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 2.6% of those under the age of 18 and 7.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Turn-of-the-century, two-story homes are prevalent. About one-quarter of the homes in Milan were built before World War II, and 21 percent built between 1940 and 1959. A symbol of the architecture is Community House, a two-story home Henry Ford purchased in 1935. Ford used it to conduct soybean-to-paint experiments, and area residents can rent it for small gatherings. Despite the increase in development, Milan is still equated with country living. It's not unusual to find a home with a barn and a kennel sitting on a couple of acres.

Milan is the location of a Federal prison, the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI), Milan. Milan is also known regionally for its Automobile Drag racing venue, the Milan Dragway.

Anonymous said...

milan is lucky to have you...i now am going to download that enjoyment sermon because you did a phenomenal job advertising it!

Anonymous said...

milan is lucky to have you...i now am going to download that enjoyment sermon because you did a phenomenal job advertising it!

Anonymous said...

thanks for the data, Don! fascinating. i'd come across some of it before, but not all of it. and thanks for the nice words, Amy!