Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Sitting here at the kitchen table in my son’s house. Listening to the quiet hum of suburbia USA. Gentle, clean air rifles the curtains and the leaves. The stillness punctured with the staccato rhythm of my typing.
Last day in America for awhile. Last day of jump in the car and go trips. Last day of aisles and aisles of convenience.
Last day of family a quick call or drive away.
That’s really the trick of it. Managing the last day of family.
You try not to think about it and push more important tasks to the front of your mind. Swallow the distance with some menial job.
It doesn’t change the fact, but makes it more bearable.
You constantly weigh the balance of your own self-importance here and there. “But what if something happens while I’m gone?” You argue with God. “What if this calamity or that difficulty or that challenge rises? Who will help them?”
I’m sure God smiles in response. “Yeah, I’ll be sure to call you if I can’t handle it.”
You definitely don’t think about the good things you will be missing. You won’t hear about the mundane daily blessings and accomplishments. Those things don’t seem important enough to mention on a scheduled Skype call. Backyard baseball heroics don’t come up when there is only one hour to say everything.
Children of all ages will grow while you’re gone. Your sons will become taller and stronger men.
Your daughter-in-law will become an even better woman. Your mother will deteriorate a little bit more. Time holds still for none of us.
All the while they think you are leaving for a grand adventure. They see you packing bags and smiling and laughing on the outside.
But inside? You are tearing yourself away from smothering them with love.
Why would someone do such an awful thing as leaving on purpose?
I can’t answer for other grandmas or mothers or sisters out there, but this one has a simple, complicated answer: The Will of God. The call from One who asks me to do something that will have a lasting impact on the world. The One who has set a legacy in place for me.
My family knows there is only one person I love more than them: God.
I owe my life, and theirs, to Him. The many times I should have died, been in jail, been destitute, but God had other plans.
I believe this, truly. God has some purpose in keeping me alive and I aim to do whatever He sets in my hands to do to fulfill that purpose. Right now that means teaching academics and Bible on the other side of the planet.
I don’t believe this only for me, by the way, but for whoever is reading this. I think the real answer to the question “Why am I here?” is found in following Jesus.
But I digress. See? It’s so much easier to argue theology than to think about the last American morning.
I am looking forward to the many blessings Moscow holds for me. I have made friends there, good friends, life long friends. I look forward to the bustle of the city. It keeps me from being lazy. I am excited to see what this school year holds. I love watching my students advance.
All that remains to be done is the flying. One lifestyle trades for another.
Now you know how leaving looks through a writer's eyes.