Sunday, January 21, 2007

back in the u.s.a.

So I returned to the U.S. on Saturday afternoon, about 12:45 p.m. I passed through customs and then entered into the flow of the masses who were also hanging out at the Fort Lauderdale Airport, most of them evidently departing for or returning from a cruise. But we made the early flight that we wanted, I drank a diet coke for the first time in a week, and then ate a deli turkey sandwich, and some yogurt. I read the Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition----a somewhat depressing article on private school headmaster compensation, an interesting piece on Smokey Robinson's favorite cds (he included Marvin Gaye's What's Going On and Carole King's Tapestry), then more reading of Dallas Willard's The Divine Conspiracy (an extraordinary book), then onto the plane, and then home, in Charlotte. We ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant, and Elianna from Venezuela was our waitress. Jack, who is from Haiti and lives with us, remembered Elianna from our last visit there, they had recently conversed about Hugo Chavez, who is of course persona non grata in the U.S. but has helped Haiti recently with oil. It is an interesting world, a global village.

Then we went to see our younger daughter play church league basketball. Her team won 49-24, and I think she scored 24 points. When you are 6'3'', and have good hands, and know your way around a basketball court, church league basketball is like grabbing the low hanging fruit.

I am still processing the eight days in Haiti. I will write more about that journey later. It is an extraordinary mission of health care and hope to many, many people. It is the parable of the good samaritan all over again, it is touching the hem of the garment of Jesus, it is the man lying beside the pool of water, it is the roman official bringing his child to Jesus. It is life and death, illness and healing. It is awesome.

It was great to be back in church today. I am asked to give a "State of The Church" talk about this time each year, which I did. Then I wandered around and talked with people. Then at the second service I preached, there were baptisms and new members and the commisioning of the church council. And the Chancel Choir gave a glorious rendering of Mozart's Laudate Dominum, from the Solemnes Vespers. I had been in a college choir that sang that piece, and it brought back good memories.

Tomorrow evening the church council will begin the year with dinner; my friend Bill will speak, he is smart and funny, then we will (God willing) adopt the annual budget, and affirm a new candidate for ordained ministry (this is very exciting).

So it is a busy and good time of year. I need a day of rest here soon....maybe a part of Tuesday. We'll see. A more substantial post about Haiti soon...


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