As I write this post, the fire is crackling in the fireplace at my parents’ home in SC, I’ve got my comfortable LLBean slippers on (thanks, Mom & Dad Nelson!), and I am finally relaxed. Our “Christmas break” is well underway, which began with a wonderful three days spent with the Nelsons in New Jersey. We went to NYC to see the “Rockettes” at Radio City Music Hall, ate at Seth’s favorite Italian family-style restaurant, Carmine’s, and then had “Christmas” on Friday. Snow came down all day — it truly felt like we were in a winter wonderland. We ate, opened presents, ate, slept, and ate some more … truly a relaxing and celebratory day!
There is really nothing quite like home for Christmas — whether it’s Millington, NJ (for Seth) or Greenville, SC, for me. It was great last night to be greeted by the “Davis family elves” last night at the airport (a.k.a. my brothers and sister-in-law); to attend church at the place that’s nurtured my faith in Christ since I was a child; and to be surrounded by the family I love so much and who lives so far away. There’s just something so comforting about knowing you belong and that you’re known. I loved that when Seth, Bryan, and I walked in just before Sunday evening’s church service, the usher at the back immediately directed us to the pew where the Davis family was sitting. I didn’t have to ask or explain — he just knew us. As much as I love new places and exploration, I equally love the comfort of the familiar. Of the rest that comes from this … like an inward sigh of relief.
And the complication of our journey to get here last night only makes us appreciate it all the more. Bear with me as a I recount another of my traveling adventures (I’ve had more than my share — in my opinion — but the others will be for another post). We were scheduled to fly out with Northwest Airlines through Memphis, TN, to arrive into Greenville (GSP from this point forward) at 9:30 p.m. However, they oversold our flight from Philly to Memphis, and they asked us if we would volunteer to move to a different flight for travel vouchers. Perhaps we’re mercenaries, but we figured it would be worth it and wouldn’t be that inconvenient. It even promised to be better than the original one since the flight they re-booked us for was a direct flight into GSP arriving around the same time. However, it was with USAirways (and my litany of bad travel has been with them historically). And each time we checked the board over the next few hours, the flight was delayed more and more …. until it was canceled at 7:00 pm. So we stood in line and waited … and waited … and waited … and were able to be rebooked … for a flight going into Charlotte, NC (1.5 hours away from GSP). We were thrilled to be arriving last night. And my family was willing to make the trek in their “sleigh” to pick us up. So a very happy and very tired Seth and Heather were greeted by “elves” around 11:00 pm last night — and finally made our way to home sweet home by 1:00 a.m.! (of course, our luggage wasn’t so fortunate to make the trip with us — but it did follow only a day later and we now have it in our possession — again, not unusual since my bags have not made it with me over the past several flights to GSP I’ve taken over the past few years)
Isn’t Christmas and being home better because of the journey? And isn’t it much better because of the journey that God made, coming to earth as a baby to be born in a manger, to be called Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer? The journey that God took which would guarantee that one day all of those who believe in Christ would be able to journey Home to the place where we are fully known … that is worth dreaming of, hoping in, and celebrating this Christmas. A home that makes the best earthly homes pale in comparison and which gives hope to those who have had homes which were a far cry from any place lovely or familiar or comfortable. May the One whose birth we celebrate be the One whose Home we long for and anticipate this Christmas!