I’m joining in with Five Minute Friday – a five-minute free write weekly exercise. Find out more here.
Maybe there are fresh flowers on the dresser. A tray of goodies to welcome us. But it can be simpler than that – a warm embrace; plans made for our stay; a place for us to sleep; meals prepared. When we visit another friend or family member, it’s a treat to be with them. It’s about the company. Not the accommodations, per se. It’s a chance to have a break from our routine and join in another’s day-to-day life.
There are limits to phone calls, FaceTime, that make a face-to-face visit necessary. Precious. And harder to fit in now that we have to work around a school schedule.
A visit is an opportunity to be on the receiving end of hospitality. We leave with our spirits refreshed and our hearts full. Ready to return the favor sometime soon.
See yesterday’s post for a summary of our days (weeks) lately. I am going to dive right into today’s Five Minute Friday writing exercise (five minutes, unedited, free-flowing thoughts, hosted by Kate Motaung here).
photo credit: jaunted.com
I cannot wait to see her familiar smile tomorrow, and that of her radiant husband whose joy and passion for life and God matches her own. They will drive from South Carolina to come visit us, and it will be a much-needed refreshment for us snow-weary ones. She and I go way back, all the way to high school when we were both timid teenagers in youth group together. Her visit will be like revisiting all of the years since then. Years that have had their share of joys and sorrows in equal measure.
Like the week we visited Ireland together. We were out of college then, in our mid-20s and quite brave (naive?). We flew into Dublin, took a train across the country to the Ring of Kerry, and then began searching for a B&B to stay at for the evening. The next day we hitchhiked (and wow – it could have been disastrous) and collected many more moments that we laugh at ruefully now.
Another time we will be sure to recount is when I wanted to visit her, but family demands kept me here – on this side of the Atlantic – missing out on joining the joy of her marriage to Erick. God brought her on an adventure across the ocean into missions in Africa, and God brought love to her in the person of Erick. Whom we finally met during his first visit to the U.S. over Christmas break. The two hours we had then were too short. And I imagine the same will be true for the two days we’ll spend together.
But I’ll take it. Any visit is a reminder of the good times we’ve had in the past, and it builds hope for future visits we will share together.
My writing/blogging is feeling as little rusty. No better way to get back in than to jump into Five Minute Friday as a start. So here’s today’s word: “visit.”
Maybe it’s an airplane. Boarding alone, with a few books in tow, trying to avoid telling my seat mate my profession as a counselor (if I want to get to read my books). Leaving one place of familiarity, of home, and arriving in another greeted by ones who are also like home to me.
When you’ve lived in four places during your adult life, and really put down roots in each one, and each has formed a part of my story, there are many “homes” to return to. And I never quite fully feel at home anywhere. There are always ones I love who live elsewhere.
So visiting is a part of my pilgrim life. I visit family in three different states, up and down the Eastern seaboard, and we endure the miles and miles of whines and crumbs and fast food stops to get there. To visit. To stay for awhile, or a few days, or a week if we’re lucky.
And I board the airplane to return to a group of college friends for a reunion/homecoming; and I board a plane to see my Atlanta group of close friends; and then I board that same plane to return to the home and family I’ve missed. Visit is always bittersweet. By definition, it’s temporary. It’s a passing through – a stopping by – a gathering of memories and smiles and photos to savor when the visit comes to an end and home is in sight.
Isn’t this also how I am to be living my life here on earth? While I await Home above? This is a visit – a stopping by – a passing through – and home is in sight.