All this brick and concrete
building towers over building
city lights glare and my soul says
Point me home.
To that big, wide porch
warm lights in sleepy little cypress wood
house at the end of the lane
To my daughter’s smile,
her big blue eyes and bedtime snuggles
in our space, on our time
no more airplanes
suitcases out of sight, out of mind,
out of use.
Point me home.
I wearily penned these words before bed on Saturday night in Denver and woke up refreshed the next morning, Rocky Mountains in view, coffee in hand, soul somehow settled by slumber and morning’s new mercies. I asked Him to show me the work He’d brought me here to do, grant me faithfulness to do it, and then, Father, point me home.
I had the strangest feeling that He was going to do just that. And I had the strangest feeling it would look nothing like I expected.
Twenty-six hours later, I was sitting on a plane in Denver hearing what I’d already surmised from our return to the gate: today, you will not make it home.
We flew on to Phoenix because somehow I just needed to be free of Denver, in a new city and on the off chance they could still get us home that night. Deep down I knew the off chance had no chance. Maybe going on to Phoenix made me feel less like a hostage, more like I had a choice in all of this.
Or maybe Phoenix was precisely where I was meant to go.
I contacted my cousin who lives in Phoenix, certain he was out flying the friendly skies himself, just in case he wasn’t…and he replied:
We’re on our way home today. When will you be there? You can stay with us.
And just like that, neighbor Judy was meeting my coworker and me in the Phoenix airport, driving us to my cousin’s home, letting us in and showing us around, making sure we knew how to get to Target because, obviously, part of this story involves nobody knowing exactly where our luggage was at the moment.
Two tired ladies, we made our way through Target, somehow managing to find everything we needed to be presentable again the next morning, along with hummus and blueberries and Genoa salami because fancy snacks cover a multitude of travel wrongs.
Shawn and David arrived just as we’d nearly demolished the hummus, our motley assortment of snacks spread across their dining room table. I’d forgotten just how much a big bear hug from family can soothe the weary soul. We visited and shared the updates from back home before heading out to meet their friends Patrick and Donny at the kind of lovely delicious Mexican restaurant you can only find in a place like Phoenix.
The men regaled us with their tales from the air, all of them flight attendants, and we laughed until our faces hurt. Back at the condo, we were just winding down for the night when four adorably boisterous neighbors showed up with cocktails in hand, demanding a song from Shawn, like something straight out of a Golden Girls episode.
I sat and watched my cousin play piano, something I used to love doing as a kid, and I wondered at the beauty of it all. Yes, I missed my daughter, yes, I longed to be home. But when will I have another opportunity to do this? Here was this cousin I have always so adored and his equally adorable husband, and I was getting to do a little bit of life with them.
Shawn and David woke up to take us to the airport early the next morning, made sure to drop us at precisely the right door for our gate, and I realized a big bear hug from family is just as wonderful, even when your soul is a little less weary and a little more whole.
We boarded in Phoenix, breath held for no delays, and landed in Vegas right when we were meant to be on the ground. As we waited to board our final flight home, I saw two familiar faces in line. The faces were not familiar because I’ve met them but because I know their daughter, this precious woman at my church, and I have seen their faces on her Instagram feed.
I am shy and an introvert on a good day, and it almost always makes me nervous to meet new people, not to mention on a plane where you can’t gracefully exit a conversation gone awkwardly silent. Something about being miles from home and a full twenty four hours off schedule can strip a girl of her inhibitions, and before I knew it I was sitting right down next to them on the plane telling them I know their darling daughter, posing for a selfie and chatting about life.
And even though I’d only just met this couple, they were a connection to my life back in Arkansas – to my church, to my community, to where I feel grounded and safe…to home.
I asked to be shown what work He would have me do, for faithfulness to do it, and instead He said, hey – watch this. Love on your family – let them love on you back. Bond with Kortney over ironic pajamas and toothpaste and hair products. Spend the last leg of the journey with some sweet folks who remind you of your community and calling. I am your home, and I am here.
And wherever I am, you are home.