I find there are two forms of travel. The first is the one most of us know today. It is filled with hotels, questionable restaurants, and strangers providing transportation and a wide range of other services one requires in order to successfully take care of business. The other is old school. In the old school way of travel, you arrive in a town other than the one you call home only to find yourself in the hands of extended family. Often the people involved have no blood relationship. Yet their hospitality, friendship, and even sacrifice reflects a bond that is far deeper than most families experience.
During the past few days, families have reintroduced themselves to me. At best I last saw them three years ago. Many I haven't seen in decades. Yet to all I am part of their family. They have opened their homes without reservation. They have given me their beds in order that I might be comfortable. Their sacrifice in providing unlimited quantities of wonderful food reminds me of how truly unworthy I am. It is an wonderful reminder of what it is like to be part of something far greater than one realizes.
In an old story, friends become brothers. “They left the mountain called Olives and returned to Jerusalem. It was a little over half a mile. They went to the upper room they had been using as a meeting place: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James, son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Judas, son of James.” (Acts 1.12, 13) The fellowship that had been building for years took on a whole new dimension when they opened their hearts to each other. What came from it forever changed who and what they were from the inside out.
This trip is one that has cemented a change long underway. Part of my soul will always be in this part of the world. I know I will never permanently live here. At the same time I know I will always have family here. God's family is open to all.
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