“Peace is flowing like a river,
flowing out of you and me!
Flowing out into the desert,
setting all the captives free!”
Confluence: (noun): flowing or running together so as to form one. The graphic to the side illustrates the flowing family names of our immediate tributaries running into our Nahar river.
Nahar means river in Arabic (نهر), as well as in Hebrew (נהר).
We want to mark this significant decision to combine our lives by growing together into a name that emerged through prayer and joyful discernment. Once we married, we changed our last names from Brenneman and Thompson, respectively, to Nahar. Some explanation:
The Jordan River, and all the fresh flowing waters of the world, are important to us. From Palestine to Standing Rock we’ve experienced how water is life. While living in Elkhart (a city where two rivers come together making a heart-shaped island) we noticed how the riverbanks provide unique ecosystems where life-on-the-border flourishes.
As border-walkers both, our lives are full of fording many metaphorical rivers in service to connecting communities and bridging different perspectives. We’ve learned that sometimes it’s good to go with the flow, and other times it’s important to swim against the current.
In our partnership we have helped each other discern how to navigate troubled waters. We have reached out for help when we were drifting or drowning. Time and time again we found willing arms of support from each other and branches from our mentors to hang on to, anchored by faith in a God who is with us in the storm and brings us back to solid ground.
There are many who have gone before us in the river of life and we are grateful for the how they have poured into us, and prayed for us.
On a warming planet, we pray for a world refreshed by cool water.
For a thirsty land, we pray for the re-hydration of ecosystems and people.
In a dammed world, we pray for release of the floodgates of compassion…so that justice may roll down like waters, and righteousness like an mighty stream (Amos 5:24).
Every time we speak our last name we wish to remind ourselves of these prayers, our vast lineages, our commitment to each other, and our life’s work.
Thanks for being part of our lives! Catch the Livestream of the sacred vows ceremony here! We are grateful to Moriel, Kayla, and baby Nahar for piquing our awareness to this word, with such deep meaning.
I backdated the post to the first day of the wedding, which occurred the entire weekend between the International Day of Peace and the Autumn Equinox, Sept 21-23, 2018.