Happy to be Home
Updated: Feb 1, 2022
A man fell to his knees on the tarmac. As people filed off the plane and toward the terminal, he kneeled just a bit to the right of the crowd. With hands raised in praise and face upturned towards heaven, he left no doubt that he was thankful to be back on Malawian soil. It seemed evident that he was honoring God for getting him through whatever trials he had endured until now with his whole person. My spirit resonated internally with his outward show of thanksgiving. On the inside I was just as thankful and ecstatic to be back home as this man demonstrated on the outside, at least that is what I thought to myself. I had been away long enough to desperately long to return home to my husband and my whole life here, and with a war in Ethiopia and a new variant closing off travel to Malawi, it wasn’t until the plane landed that I realized that none of my fears had materialized, and I had really made it back. I was thankful, of course, dramatically so.
But this man glorified God with everything within him, giving no regard to his possessions or his clothing and ignoring the crowd of people milling around. I, in turn, had rushed to be towards the front of that crowd, clutching my over-the-limit carryon baggage and hoping to be quickly through immigration and customs and back in Greg’s arms. Looking back, I realize that I was in the crowd of lepers moving on with their life after experiencing healing, and he was the one in ten who returned to say thanks. Like Martha, I rushed on to the next task, while he, with Mary-like heart, chose the more important thing – giving thanks at the feet of Jesus.
I want to keep that image in my heart and in my mind. Perhaps not physically but internally, I want to become the one bowing down on the tarmac and not a part of the crowd on the bus, burdened and rushing. I was thankful for my time in America. Although I missed Greg terribly, the time was life-giving, career-progressing, and a good reset from the stress of boundary-encroaching overwork of the months before. But here I was back to old habits, thinking of what I need to do next, how to catch up on things left undone. This man’s dramatic example challenges me to re-center and live a life which is less about stress and achievement and more about abiding thankfully in the arms of the One who brought me through the turbulence and onto solid ground.
I really wanted to share this story and ask for prayers to keep centered as we finish this year and start some new things.