Completely unlike myself, I find I’m a little speechless about last week. I had the opportunity to go home to KY for the briefest of moments, to spend some time with my family there and to soak up as much of them as I could before getting back on an airplane to what my friend Cody lovingly refers to as “the frozen wastelands.”
I met the youngest child of some of my dearest friends, who is already two, and was reaquainted with his three older siblings, who have changed SO much in four years. I was blessed to wake up each morning to Mary and Jackson crawling into bed with me, and crawling all over me as I stumbled into coherence. I was able to learn about Bionicles from Caleb – he even let me build some with him. Alex and I discussed books we’ve both read (“Miss Coral, I think you’ve read EVERY book I’ve read. I haven’t told you a book yet that you haven’t read!” Ah, the benefits of being one and a half times your age.) He even critiqued some of my favorites as being an obvious product of my gender. LOL. Probably true.
I also got to catch up with Todd and Guinever, stay up way too late talking, and slide right back into life with their family. It’s hard to quantify the delight of a conversation interrupted by diaper changing, meltdowns about snacks, broken glasses, and general family mayhem. Sometimes I wonder how I was allowed the luxury of having a friendship with an entire family like that. If I want proof that the Lord has made a place for me on this earth, all I have to do is remember the little fingers in mine, the contentment of conversation and the joy of seeing Guinever’s face that first day.
Of course, there was also the distinct satisfaction, almost to the point of smugness, about the resolution of the surrounding reasons for being in Kentucky. The court case I was involved in was found in favor of the school, which was much to the relief of everyone who played a part in the defense. Although it was very stressful, when I think of how this man has tried to malign and intimidate so many people I love, I can’t help but think of what Joseph told his brothers when they visited him in Egypt, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.” (Gen. 50.20) As Ben told me the first time he saw me last week, “Really, we should send Dr. H a thank-you note for finally bringing you back for a visit.” (The school’s lawyers laughed when I told them that when I had coffee with them my first evening there, but then cautioned me to please not do anything like that until after we had a verdict.)
And of course the VC family were not the only old friends who I was able to spend time with. I saw Bobby and Alisa, albeit briefly, and caught up with them. I had the chance to catch up at least a little with Prof. R, once the trial was out of the way, and to have coffee with Dr. T. I saw Cody several times, not including the trial, and had a chance to hear about his life as it stands. And, of course, Benjamin, who was my constant companion throughout the week, was always around. Ben and I knew each other mostly in a classroom context, so this week was nice in its own way. He hung out with the kids, came to the church party, showed up at least once a day and called constantly. Even better, when I got up on the witness stand, with the boys waiting outside for their turn, my heart in my mouth, I saw Ben’s mom giving me a fierce smile from the front row of the courtroom. What a relief to have someone in my corner at that moment!
Not only did I get to see these people, I got to rediscover little nooks and crannys of the city where I went to college, found a coffee shop that I wish I could have spent every spare moment at when I lived there, and revisit one or two precious haunts. I visited Ben’s Orthodox church, just for their Vespers service, and have been enjoying the dialogue born out of such a different worship experience. Plus, the reading of Athanasius’ epistle kind of wormed its way into my heart, for reason of one of my favorite books. (Rachel? Do you know what I’m talking about? You should…) Actually, because of that novel I knew a whole bunch of things about Athanasius and the bishops that followed him that Ben didn’t. (This is me being smug.) Also, the reading for that service was from the book of James, and after the court case, it was good to be reminded that my actions are the witness of my faith. “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2.26) Standing up for the right might not be easy, but it glorifies Him.
Anyway. I need to wrap up this missive before it hits a thousand words and becomes a mini-novel. I’m going home to my parents tonight to see my little sister and her husband, who are here from Memphis for the summer, and I can’t wait. Loves to you all.