Well, it's been a quiet week in Mt Pleasant, SC, my new home town.
This morning we were wakened – those of us who aren't insomniacs and had therefore not spent a rather boring night listening to the ceiling fan, anyway – we were wakened by the rain lashing down. It is seldom that rain merely falls here, so near to the warm tropical seas; it nearly always lashes down in torrents. I had been in the shower when it started, and so nearly missed the opportunity to rush downstairs and get my feet wet, splashing around in the standing water on our back porch.
I first sat on that back porch, newly arrived on my first visit, six years ago. I was in transit, physically and spiritually, having left my life 'doing missions' in New Zealand (a life that I absolutely loved) because I'd felt God say to. I didn't know what was next. It was Easter Sunday, and Maria & I had followed church by going to a big fat Lebanese party, where I met about sixty of her family. One boy there, aged about eight and correspondingly blunt, cornered me to ask, "Are you going to marry her?" He knew.
We married in 2009, and on Monday last week my passport arrived with a new US visa in it. I flew on Tuesday, and now I'm here; free to sit on my in-laws' back porch any time I like, to look over the marsh to the barrier islands beyond it, and beyond them the great Atlantic, and beyond that the land of my birth.
So he passed over, and all the trumpets sounded for him on the other side.
John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress