Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankful for Homesickness

Nearly everything we do abroad in China is a first: first anniversary abroad—number 34, first Thanksgiving abroad, first birthday abroad—number 56, first Christmas abroad, and the most palpable case of homesickness we have ever felt. O, and for the first time in our life we regularly walk three miles to buy coffee beans!

Today, as we walked three miles to buy coffee beans we talked about our homesickness! No, we didn’t commiserate—that can be absolutely demoralizing—especially abroad. Instead, we concluded that our homesickness is a good thing. Actually it is a blessing. “Our homesickness is good. We are homesick because the holidays are filled with so many precious memories. You remember and the miss good things—not bad things. I am thankful for that.” Sandy said. Also, in China there are few reminders that, The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. Such a setting helps us focus on the true meaning of Christmas, not the commercialism that has displaced it.

Earlier in the day we ventured off campus and found a little hole-in-the-wall store that sold twinkling Christmas lights. We bought seven strings. Now in the corner of our living area there is a twinkling tree. Our tree of red, yellow, green, and blue blinking strands hangs from the ceiling. The frame of a broken umbrella spreads them into the conical shape of a Christmas tree.

O.k., I know what you’re thinking, “You might be a Redneck if you make a Christmas tree from a broken umbrella and twinkly lights.” It was a lot of fun

As I write, Christmas music is playing in the background. Amy Grant and many different artists are singing their rendition of the classics. Amy is our favorite. To us, there is a spiritual quality to her music. Maybe it’s because she has experienced so much brokenness, and the grace of redemption and restoration the Savior came to give. Let’s never forget that’s the reason for the season.

Enjoying the Adventure,

Bill

1 comment:

  1. Hi guys! I know and understand homesickness...and loneliness! These are truly blessed times in life as they cause us to move closer to our Father for comfort! As you know, I also understand loss at Christmas time. But, in understanding loss I have come to have a greater appreciation of what was and what will be! My thoughts will be with you throughout this holiday season! Great idea to make something new out of brokeness! That's what it is all about! Love ya! Helen P.

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