I am going far away. On Monday my family and I join 30 other parents, students, and teachers for a two-week mission trip to the village of Kaihura, Uganda. You can imagine what getting ready for this trip has been like, and what a week of anticipation, packing, and last-minute details this has been.
But mostly, like the eve of every long trip I have ever taken, today has not been about that far away place, largely unknown to me, unexplored, full of uncertainty, but about this place, about home, about the familiar and certain places and sounds that are as second nature to me as breathing. Today I've been walking through this place and saying goodbye.
I don't think we were meant to be wanderers. I cannot imagine a person or a people who do not want a home and homeland, who move through life as transients. We're meant to put down roots, to find our promised land, a place and life that in its best moments anticipates a true Home and Homeland to come. When I'm leaving, I'm reminded of this.
Today, I said goodbye to the still water of the lake, to the geese with their young, to pine trees and gray squirrels that inhabit my yard. I said goodbye to the robin, the goldfinch, and the two deer that have been munching grass in the unclaimed woods behind my home. I leave behind the music of this place, like Claire Holley's "Visit Me," a song that carries the sound of home, with its country sound and pedal steel, just a little wistful, just a little longing. I will miss every comfortable chair, every quiet corner, every footfall of my children in our home, and the purr from contented cats. I'm homesick for it all!
You might accuse be of being sentimental, but I don't think of it that way. I love home. I think the more I love home the more I know of my eternal Home. My duty now is to love His world, to love a particular place, a particular home. And when I go away, far away, it's in part to have my own love for home nurtured.
We're going far away. We need to go. We'll make new friends, have our eyes opened, be given new visions. But I can't wait to come home.
[You can follow our trip on our blog. Everyone is posting. You might even see a post from me.]