every college and university campus has a heartbeat.
a heart rate measured in beats slower than our own,
a rhythm of learning-infused life, 
coursing through the circulatory system of
sturdy sidewalks and impromptu pathways. 

 

you can hear it, 
if only you remain on campus long enough 
to feel the ebb and flow,
if only your perspective zooms out 
until single-units blur into substance, 
a moving mass. 
if only you have the patience to come and see. 

 

you see life and learning moving, pulsing, 
vitality streaming from one building to the next, 
a channel from one course to another. 

 

until it slows momentarily, 
a pause until the next beat comes, 
a gathering proceeding the sending. 
opportunity oxygenating, 
potential percolating, 
waiting for the in to give way to the out. 
and then the beat comes, 
the door-valves open, 
first a trickle, 
and then a flood.

 

gathering and sending. 
gathering and sending.  

 

at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, 
the Lutheran Center is at the heart. 
a pause between passages,
opening a space between classes to rest, 
to be, 
holding the time between now and what comes next. 

 

here we count heart rate in beats per semester,
as each turn of the academic calendar,
brings a transfusion of life.
gathering and sending. 
gathering and sending. 
gathering to nourish abundant life-bearing bodies,
and sending them into an oxygen deprived world. 
gathering for the Spirit’s renewal,
and sending forth conduits of the Spirit’s work, 
flowing freely to every corner of campus, 
every cranny of creation.

 

gathering lives pregnant with potential 
in whom the promise of ministry gestates, 
and sending out Spirit-filled ministers,
illuminated by learning, 
called to be channels through whom the love of God
flows to the world. 

 

this is our heartbeat. 
can you hear it? 

 

Connecting people to Christ, so they may discover their own calling as disciples.