A quiet, gentle flight allowed for a few hours of sleep—at least for some of us—while the horizon burned orange and red out of the plane’s eastern windows. We awoke as the plane stepped us down out of the clouds and Houston, already awake, sprawled out almost endlessly beneath us. A morning walk from E16 to C30 took us past one gate after another with their announcements of “adventure” and “home” and who knows what: Las Vegas, Mexico City, Chicago, Tegucigalpa.
There is something about travel that reminds one of how big and rich the world is.
We pass a Latino family waiting to go somewhere. I am heartened by the reminder that they could be from anywhere. They could be going anywhere. Their toddler has discovered what I have, in his own way. Standing on two legs leads quickly to running on them and seeing how far he can go, and how quickly. Mom and dad are an admirable and joyful tag-team, letting him run, reining him in. Rinse, and repeat.
A big world, full of possibility.
But we know this, or at least we have known in the past. Contemporary pressures seem to try to squeeze us back into some kind of tribal identity, but this trip is a reminder of the family that we all are. Of the sprawling world, full of possibility and connection and adventure that we share.
That we are going to a home that is, for many of us, familiar, is one way we know this to be true. More will be written about this in future posts, I suspect. There is another indicator as well—a group of strangers we are joining on this third round. Nearly 40 of us all together, from Seattle environs, from Chicago. There’s another group of travelers as well. A quick conversation with an orthopedic surgeon and his daughter from Maryland who are joining a surgical brigade for the same week reveal this fact. Accommodations for this group have been completed since our 2015 visit so the place may be busy this week.
A toddler eager to adventure. A surgeon eager to heal. A student eager to try out her Spanish. Much we share! Gifts of God for the people of God.
You remember it has been said, the church is the place where we have not forgotten we belong together. Then, who knows? This just might be church of a sort.