It already feels like a month ago that we were savouring the last day in Michigan with old friends and strawberry cream pie. Crossing time zones lengthens time (and deepens wrinkles).
The next morning we hustled while our kids played hard with their neighbour friends, hour after hour, until at 2:00pm when we lit sparklers together and then waved goodbye for a year.
First stop: Canada and ten days with my parents–both to enjoy some last time together and because flights to Spain from Toronto were $1500 cheaper than from Chicago.
Of course, we’d gotten the shlumpy news about not being able to place our kids in the Adventist school, and there were no apartments available for rent on the Spanish campus, and the facts could be summarized in a few lines but the feeling could not. There was deflation, and a bit of fear; we felt we were hovering over an unknown space and was it safe?
Of course, my friend Kristine has done far gutsier things with far wilder faith, and our classmate Olen and his family are living radically as doctors in Chad, and another family we adore has gone as missionaries to a majority Muslim country where everything is an uphill grind…but moving our family of five across the Atlantic for a year is a bit adventurous for us.
We want to know the future, don’t we? Tame it by planning it all out. Sometimes it can seem like that’s working out for us…and then the duckies fall over and we see how little we actually can control.
On the eight-hour drive to my parents’, somewhere near Kitchener, Ontario, the sunset sky began to rain. We were half in the sun, half in the rain: indigo clouds to our right and to the left, sunset streaming underneath it all.
Suddenly from East to West a full rainbow arched out, splendid and colourful, seeming to touch down on either end and yet never to disappear. Melanie: Mommy, why isn’t everybody looking at it? Mommy: That’s the biggest rainbow I’ve ever seen. Tito: Look, guys! There are two rainbows! (It had doubled) Robert craning his neck to see, almost giggling (have you heard Rob giggle?).
The full bow curving across the sky followed us for forty minutes, but it felt like two. We kept gazing out the window, grinning at the reckless loveliness that was attending our path.
What good blessing.
To carry peace like a baby not because you know the future, but because you know you are exquisitely loved–this is faith. The rainbow said: you are exquisitely loved. Remember.
And the reward of faith, besides peace, is the joy in its fulfillment. Halfway through our time in Canada we found a school! It’s just ten minutes from the Adventist campus in a village two kilometers from the sea. The monastery in the photo below sits across the street from their school building.
God’s love is meteoric,
his loyalty astronomic,
His purpose titanic,
his verdicts oceanic.
Yet in his largeness
nothing gets lost;
Not a man, not a mouse,
slips through the cracks.
How exquisite your love, O God!
How eager we are to run under your wings…
Psalm 36: 5-7