I have been away for almost a month, down in Georgia, where I grew up. I spoke at a few churches, met lots of wonderful people, reconnected with some old friends, sprayed weed killer on approximately 382 poison ivy plants in my parents woods, played games with my family, and helped with a six-family yard sale in my aunt’s front yard.
Last Wednesday night, for my last hurrah before I drove back to Kentucky Thursday, I spoke to a wonderful crowd of people at Trinity United Methodist, in the fellowship hall where I have eaten Wednesday night dinners for roughly twenty five years of my life. There is nothing quite like talking to people you love in a place you love about a ministry you love. It was good to be home.
Thursday, I left my home in Georgia and returned to my home in Kentucky. I don't quite understand this peculiar ability to have more then one "home", but I am making peace with that.
By Friday morning, I was standing on our back deck in Kentucky, sipping coffee out of my favorite mug and watching the sunlight as it spread across the backyard. Our house faces east, so early in the morning, our backyard is shrouded in shadow. The sun starts on the back fence and slowly creeps toward the house, illuminating the still-wet grass and garden with shimmering sparkles. It’s a lovely thing to watch as my brain emerges from sleep-fog.
A few hours later, I sat at our kitchen table, talking with my roommates. We covered topics ranging from mundane details of my trip to the complexities of human nature and the profound struggles involved in making major life choices that are outside the norm and perhaps not understood by everyone we love. We laughed, cried, and laughed until we cried, all within the span of about thirty minutes. It may sounds like an emotional reunion, but it’s actually just a normal day in this house full of women.
Then I headed out to a friend’s house to watch her two little girls for a few hours. I had not seen them in almost a month and was greeted with warm hugs and an effusively verbal five-year-old’s summary of life since I had left and questions about my trip, my family, and my hat. (In contrast, when I asked her two-year-old sister how she was doing, I got a thumbs up.)
Yesterday morning, as I was walking into the sanctuary at my other church, I felt a tug on my hair. I knew before I even turned around that an joyful, goofy Puerto Rican man was standing behind me, grinning. I was right. After the service, I hugged friends (including the goofy Puerto Rican man and his family), told them about my meetings in Georgia, and heard about all their summer adventures so far.
It is good to be home.
|Mt. Hood, Oregon|
I travel a lot. In the past year, I have spent months on the road, all my essentials packed into the back of my trusty old Jeep, but, in the end, I come home to this life, full of familiar people, sticky-sweet hugs, predictable pranksters, peaceful decks, and perfectly sculpted coffee mugs. It’s comfortable, it’s wonderful, and, by the Grace of God, it’s mine.
In a few months, all that will change. I will be on the road again--or more specifically, in the air. And I will not be coming back. As I settle once more into the rhythm of Wilmore life (at least for this week), that is hard to wrap my mind around.
For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.
One day, I will move for the last time and I will truly be home. I am so grateful. Until then, I am packing that coffee mug.