Fear in the journey,
Joy in the coming home.
A part of the heart
Gets lost in the learning
Somewhere along the road.
Along the road, your path may wander.
A pilgrim’s faith may fail.
Absence makes the heart grow stronger.
Darkness obscures the trail.
This is an excerpt from a 90’s song called, Along the Road, by Ashton, Becker and Dente.
The rural countryside was like a giant playground to my siblings, our friends and me. Together and alone we walked and rode for miles. We knew every stand of trees and every creek bed, those belonging to our own families as well as neighboring families. Big Al had a natural spring on his property. We often stopped with our bikes to splash a bit before heading home.
Late into the nights my siblings and I would play games like flashlight tag or climb in the rafters of the barns. There were so many places that we kids knew by heart. We hid behind hay bales and played with kittens there. Stacked cord wood served as a post office. We slept under the blanket of the Milky Way and awakened to June bugs crawling over our dew-covered sleeping bags.
We sat in wild blueberry patches and munched berries under the blazing sun. Our parents handed out pails and empty hats in which to collect blackberries beside the road. Adder’s tongue sprouted in the woods by the creek while snow was still on the ground. Morels were ripe for the picking after the frost was gone; Crab apples grew in the orchard and strawberries were ready for jam in late Springtime. Each was a signpost that marked time and place for kids raised on homegrown beauty and imagination.
Even when the compass points to True North, and Truth has been grafted into our hearts, even then we lose our way. We pin our expectations on people around us. We do, and then we vilify them … only to realize the failing is our own. We take risk after risk, like the pioneers we were born to be. Then we are surprised by failure as if expecting a perfect pole vault; our hopes get dashed with every setback. Yet humility, courage and a spirit of overcoming marks the life of a true pioneer.
There’s joy in the coming home.
I can never recreate what home once was but I can be at-home in my heart. I can never confidently climb into the rafters of the barn that has been gone for years. I’m grateful, though, to walk beside courageous people whose roar stretches my capacity to dream. There are people whose inner beauty pierces my heart. They challenge me to love the City more authentically and to embrace nations. To love justice and exhibit mercy.
May your dreams and endeavors reflect the true Beauty to which you are called. May your dear ones bask in your authentic love. May you radiate the King’s heart and purpose.
So far from home. The journey seems endless, and I’ve never felt so weary. I look down the road and see only endless trees and the trail’s intensity seems to blur with emptiness, and insignificance.
The rage of life tears at the edges of my emotions. So much to take in stride, the good with the bad. My load seems weighty. Must I carry it alone? When will I feel you? When will I know that it matters? Your voice seems so distant to me.
Dawn has come. It’s time to pick up my pack again. It’s awkward and not designed for my shoulders. I ache to see the sun. I’m late. There’s not enough of me to go around. Incessant demands from every corner of my world. My disillusionment leaves me without focus, fumbling through the day.
Had you forgotten that I want to hear your voice? I want to know what you think. That is, if you want to tell me. Say anything. Really. I won’t leave. I’ll stay, no matter how much it hurts. Your words, your thoughts make me feel like I’m alive. They make me feel like there’s a purpose to my path, these endless steps that I take.
You are my True North. Don’t you know?
There’s so much noise, this clanging silence. No single tune to whistle while I work. And then I feel your presence. I hear something that resembles your voice, as if across a crowded room I hear you speaking to another. Why them and not me? Why won’t you speak to me? We could stop for a moment, put our packs down. It would be easier if I carry some of yours, and perhaps you’ll carry some of mine. It would be good that way. Part of me wants to forge ahead. And yet, something within me pauses. The timbre of your voice comforts me. Still the road ahead is endless, but it is enough knowing you are near.