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Friday, December 17, 2010

Waypoint Cheer

Today, up at 5:30, snow reflects in the starlight and houselight. Out the door by 6, piling into our borrowed massive maroon 12-passenger behemoth. First stop Dulles Airport, re-depositing a stranded former-RVA student trying to get home to Africa who ran into bureaucratic visa red tape and, thanks to the facebook class of 2010 network, spent two nights with our family (we all know that any random tourist buys a visa in the arrivals line in Cameroon or Uganda . . .but try convincing the airline of that if you're 18, African, with a whopping one semester of American experience under your belt). I've known this girl for 36 hours now but feel a lump in my heart when we hug her goodbye, small and competent with her massive wheeled suitcase, anticipating our own departure from this very spot in less then 2 weeks, anticipating the many times someone else will have to be doing this for our kids. Snow-packed neighborhood streets give way to the dismal slush of the highway, hesitant drivers, lurching traffic. The hour to Baltimore stretches into two as we abandon the accident-plugged beltway and use our gps to weave through northern DC suburbs, until we open onto 95. Cloud-cover glows with sunrise and then turns into dull smudgy grey. And then our waypoint: the Glenn Burnie Panera Bread, our beloved Miss Kim and her fiance. We've arranged a sip of friendship over coffee and pastries. Kim, woman of faith, from Bundibugyo to Sudan to marriage, always a solid waypoint in our life, connecting us to community and clarity and prayer and love. A real friend. And now our second time to meet James, once again just struck by his presence, this is a good man. The kind that's hard to find.

Now back on the road, dodging trucks and slinging salt up 95, a long trip ahead to New Haven, but thankful for the waypoint of cheer.

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