Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!

I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!
    I would fly away and be at rest.
-- Psalm 55:6

I've been silent a long time on this blog! I'm alone in the house in Wisconsin. The countdown is on, I return to Hong Kong in less than two weeks. I'm in daily touch with Wayne, his evening to my morning, my morning to his bedtime. The old Biblical understanding of husband and wife as being "one flesh" is true for us... when we are far apart like this, we each feel something material is missing from our very selves. Not to be sentimental - we have plenty of crankiness when we are together! Nit-picking, long-standing irritations, and loud arguments do occur, our sons can vouch for it! But there's also this strange emptiness when we're apart. 

After Martin Luther got married (at the rather ripe age of 42) he wrote, “There is a lot to get used to in the first year of marriage. One wakes up in the morning and finds a pair of pigtails on the pillow which were not there before.”

For me it is currently the opposite, I wake up and immediately notice an emptiness in the house. Nobody is making coffee in the kitchen, nobody is reading in the living room, nobody to ask me how I slept in the night.

in USA
in Hong Kong
I find these two weeks before leaving the US are the hardest time... I've been in regular communication and doing distance work through the internet the whole summer, so my heart has never really left Hong Kong. At the same time, HERE is where my mother, our sons, our extended family & grand-niece, and okay some of my favorite foods (butter burgers! just-picked sweet corn! Little Debbie bars - I admit it, they have no redeeming nutritional value, and I love them!) all these are HERE. 

And more -- I understand the language here. I can call up any business on the phone and expect to receive a comprehensible answer here. I can drive a car here (too chicken & too poor to own a car in Hong Kong!) I breath the fresh Wisconsin air and can walk barefoot on the grass with no fear of snakes! (No poisonous ones in this part of the State). And then there's the heat & humidity of Hong Kong. Ugh. I won't even get started on that one.

But... then there are those students waiting. Those international seminary students who have also given up their homes, their moms & dads, in some cases spouses and children, their language, foods, culture; their positions as highly regarded church leaders - in order to come and study and grow with and among us, faculty, staff and community of the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Hong Kong.

In so many ways I can't stand the thought of leaving my US home, and in so many ways, I can't wait to get back again, to my Hong Kong home, and those who await me there.

"If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
-- Psalm 139:9-10

Thanks to Kin Tharo for this photo of new international seminary students at LTS,
together with a few of my favorite people in Hong Kong!