posted on October 22, 2011 12:23
One weekend during their sophomore year, Stephen invited Jacob to join him on a two-night retreat with a Catholic collegiate group at a gigantic house along a large lake. Early on Sunday morning, the group members were facilitated through an activity. They were formed into pairs, and each person was given a turn to wear a blindfold. One partner’s job was to guide the blinded-folded participant along the resort grounds, steering him or her from tripping over large stones or bumping into trees or wading into the shore. The goal was to learn to trust one another more deeply, and in turn learn—supposedly—how to trust God more deeply without the benefit of physical sight. It was very jazz-like indeed.
Jacob was the first to be blinded-folded, and felt a certain relaxation at being under someone else’s provision and completely surrender all responsibility for the moment. His only assignment was to walk where he was led.
After a couple of minutes he heard some giggling, and had a hunch that someone new had taken his arm. His job was still to trust and be led. Then another round of laughing and a new guidance partner still.
And then the sound of a splash and dampness on his tennis shoes and socks. He’d been led into the water. Stephen yanked the blindfold off of him, and Jacob reached down and splashed water on his friend in retaliation.
Another companion in their tight acting circle was a girl named Jacqueline, who liked to call herself “Jac.” Jac had the “alternative” look of color-streaked hair, chain-smoked and had a particularly poor taste in boyfriends. Jacob and Jac were never more than “just friends,” but enjoyed far-below-the-surface conversations that could sometimes be rare with other guys beyond Alex and Stephen.
A few days after the retreat, Jacob processed the blindfold activity with Jac. She said it reminded her of striving to write a new play: you plunged blindly and uncertainly into the pages, “the Muse with a gentle hold on your arm and guiding you across the unfolding terrain of creativity. You had to trust the Muse if you wanted to get anywhere. And the Muse gave even more of herself in the midst of community.”
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