When I made plans to visit my Mom while my Dad was gone, I knew that I was coming for her, so I tried very hard not to make very many specific plans for my trip. But one of my few requests was: I wanted to see Chad.
I don’t know how to explain Chad, except to say that he was a music major and I was a drama major in a college of mostly youth ministry majors. We were the token creative weirdos in a sea of “God Jocks.” There were a small band of weirdos with which we moved, and Chad was instrumental in helping me to see that one such fellow weirdo might be a great life partner. He was right, and Chad was one of the groomsmen when Jonathan and I married almost 15 years ago.
It’s been at least ten years since I’ve last seen Chad. In that time he married, fathered two sons, spent a year on contract to the Montreal Opera (yes as a singer), traveled, sang a lot, saw a lot, had a LOT of hair, and then shaved it off. I was a youth pastor’s wife, a realtor, a teacher, (there’s some overlap on those things) and eventually a mother. We’ve both seen sights we could have never imagined and have ended up in completely different places than either of us dreamed we would, but when I stepped out of my Dad’s truck and saw him coming across the parking lot, it was like I’d left him sitting on “the hot spot” in the atrium two days ago, and now we were going to have lunch.
We talked. We ate. My son spread partially masticated strawberry all over their table. It was over far too quickly.
This entire trip has taught me that there’s no such thing as being closer to the people you love. If I was closer to these people who draw my heart, I’d be farther from Jawan and Terri and Chrissy and Allison W. and Alison F. and everyone I love who doesn’t live here. Pati’s going back to California, Tera’s in Wisconsin, Adrienne is in Michigan, Kacie is about to move across the country, Danielle is about to across the state and Sherrie is already there. These are all people with whom I may end up snatching an hour and a half every ten years.
But this trip has also taught me that those moments aren’t too little and too few. They are standing stones marking the amazing journey on which the Lord continues to take us.