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All the Wonders

  • betharichardson

Saying Goodbye to the Office

Updated: Feb 10

So many people have lost so much this year. I've been fortunate in many ways. I have kept my job. I've not lost any friends or family to this disease. And I've even thrived by being able to work from home. When, six weeks ago, we learned that we would be working from home permanently and would need to clean out our offices by the end of the year, the grief of this time of massive change really hit me.


I've had an office at 1908 Grand Avenue for over thirty years. As I've worked through the process of cleaning out, throwing away, digitizing, and packing, I've felt both deep loss and profound gratitude. The people with whom I have worked these years have shaped and formed me. The Holy One has guided my path through the most amazing jobs. I have not reached the end of this journey just yet, but things will never quite be the same again.


I've been taking photos of the treasures in my office as a way to help me remember the stories; as a way to help me let go of possessions. I'm hoping to share a few of these photos with you.


This plastic Sacred Heart of Jesus has been with me since before I started working at The Upper Room. It was a gift to me from friends celebrating my calling as I began Divinity School. We were at a camp in Colorado for some days of renewal. We ate together, laughed, and sat up late at night dreaming about how to change the injustices of the church. The presentation of this plastic Jesus to me was a lovely affirmation of my calling -- and a reminder not to take myself too seriously.

Jesus has graced a shelf in all of the eight offices I've inhabited. Now Jesus will watch over me in my office here at home.


I am grateful.


P.S. Friends, The Upper Room is not closing. We are just going to be doing our work in a new way. The chapel is closed now because of Covid. Hopefully it will be open again after things are safe again.

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