The day came upon us at last. I took Night Visions and Patience to the airport early this a.m. to begin winging their way toward a distant and mysterious land where they will be ministering to abandoned children. There will be but mere hours left in this month before I see them again.
There is little concern for their physical safety, but they will be operating under conditions that are environmentally and politically…problematic. For those and other reasons I will be general in describing where they’re going and what they’ll be doing (even after they return) because there is much good work that is at risk. It will be a life-changing experience for both of them, and perhaps for many others as well.
It may even be life-changing for me. It will certainly be routine-busting. I’ll get a taste of single-parenthood and my own cooking, and will have occasion, I’m sure, to wonder what happened to the mysterious elves that pick up after me (I hope my wife didn’t take them with her).
It’s not an easy thing to send them off, though it may appear to some as if I do so lightly. We’re a very close family and appreciate what we have…and at times I perhaps guard it too jealously as if I were the only defense, forgetting the limits of my powers. My wife and I, however, consider ourselves stewards of all that we have received from God, including (especially) our children, knowing that while they may be ours, they are indeed meant for others. And so have they been raised.
This trip has been on Patience’s heart for three years since she first heard the first-hand accounts from a friend of ours of this foreign land and of the children being lost. She knew, one day, she would go. When the door opened unexpectedly this year her path was clear, her resolve was strong and her age irrelevant. Her mother, too, felt the undeniable tug. Certainly suffering is everywhere and confronting it doesn’t require a passport and innoculations, but for this particular time and for this particular place, this is where they know they are to be. I had every right and every instinct to go with them, but not the release, so now I am where I need to be.
Let’s see what happens.