I travel, a lot. Over the years I find that the things that I miss are getting less and less however what I do miss I miss intensely. It is hard to describe but it comes down to missing the simple things of relationship – the casual conversations, working through the tough issues, and the simple touch on the arm. There is nothing that can substitute for this lack of what it means to be family. I do enjoy the food, the new experiences, and conversation with friends that I have only met because of my adventures. Yet I would gladly give them up if life could work in a way that would allow me to stay at home.
I am incomplete when I am away. Initially I assumed that it was related to something that I had a direct part in sharing. I now realize that what I miss is the gifts of relationship – love, interaction, and acceptance – from family. It comes through in the little things. They include the thoughtful gift of kindness shown in keeping a meal warm until I am able to get home or break free from a conference call. Also making the list is the request to hang out and play basketball or putting in some baseball practice. I find myself longing for the conversations as we work together to accomplish the myriad of tasks that are required to get through the day.
In the midst of all this I have a special friend who reaches out in ways that transcend the mundane to the unexpected. It is as if she heard Wisdom’s description; “Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long. She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.” (Proverbs 31.12, 13) For this and so much more I find myself reflecting and catching a clearer glimpse of God.
God loves you and me for who we are. God is continually reaching out, extending grace, compassion, mercy, love, and unconditional acceptance. What happens next, just like life, is up to us.