Thursday, July 27, 2006

Home in Missouri (Saturday, 4 March 2006)

Father Bob & I arrived in St. Louis around 4:30 p.m. Saturday. To my great surprise, my sister & brother-in-law met me at the airport. Boy oh boy! It sure was wonderful to have family there to meet me! They drove me home, and stayed with me for several hours while I talked and talked and talked about Lui. It sure was helpful to have such good, kind, listening ears to ease me back into my regular life.

That was Saturday evening. I had scheduled my airline itinerary so that I could be home with my parish on Sunday. Though I got home pretty late Saturday, I woke early Sunday [thanks to the Lui time-zone-shift] and eagerly got ready to go to church in my own parish.

Going to church that Sunday was rather bizarre. I got ready as usual, parked as usual, walked in as usual. But as soon as I walked into the nave, I started crying. One dear friend, sitting in the back pew, saw me walking in and gave me a bear-hug, and then I really lost it – just crying and crying and crying. In my time in Lui, I had been vividly aware – much more than I would have anticipated – that folks in my parish were praying for me and bearing me up on those prayers. Being with them again on this Sunday was a most powerful affirmation and reunion. I was home at last, and humbled to be back with them.

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