His bags sit packed by the door. He walks down with his uniform on. The trusty khaki pants he has worn for years are present once again. His usually brown sweater has been upgraded after much prodding and the new one looks just as good. He shugs into his khaki coat and picks up the bags. I turn away as he walks to the door, trying to find something to busy myself with so I don’t think about the separation that inches closer with each passing second. I pick up the baby and cover her in kisses. She deserves more than usual today. She laughed for her daddy for the first time this morning, something I had been begging her to do for weeks. I was desperate for him to hear this before the distance between them grew. She obliged. I cried and thanked Jes.us. Such a simple, but beautiful gift.
The bags are in the car. A few last minute things and we are on the road. We talk and laugh, savoring our moments together. Before we know it, the airport is in sight and the sad lump in my stomach grows. We walk in together and go through the motions…but only half go through the motions. How many times have we travelled together and now one staying behind feels incomplete.
My battle with my eyes is useless. I am too tired, and too emotional and love this man too much to not cry. He spends a few minutes wooing his daughther while I go to the bathroom to try to get ahold of myself….and prolong the goodbye that is just around the bend. I come back out and find my way into his embrace as I have countless times before. I half jokingly tell him to stay. He whispers words of love to my heart and I could stay wrapped up in him forever. We kiss, and he wipes my tears and nods. He turns to go and I do the same.
We both look over our shoulders one last time as we reach the last point of visibility. It is just a glance, (one we both knew we should’t take, but both knew we had to take), but it encapsulates so much; years and babies, and moves and tears and deep deep love. The glance says it all and then he is gone.
I find my way to the car and busy myself with nursing the sweet girl that lays in my arms. The tears come and I let them fall freely. I silently repeat the mantra, “it’s only three weeks” but in my heart it feels like an eternity.
As much as my heart breaks in those moments, I am resolute that we are doing the right thing. I thank Jes.us for the peace and clarity and passion that He has bestowed. I thank God for the unity of heart that He has given and for the call of Him on our lives. I think about our wedding bands and what we inscribed for each other: (mine) “Love Jes.us with me” and (his) “may our hearts forever break as one”.
I thank Jes.us that my man goes to fight with love and kindness, with transformation and the Spirit as opposed to weapons and force.
The battle rages on all sides; the enemy runs rampant and seeks to ruin. We fight against fear and prejudice, against ignorance and intolerance. We gird ourselves with the Word and with prayer.
There is too much at stake to chicken out and stay home. As much as I long for his arms to stay wrapped around me, I am desperate for him to be about the work of the Father even more. Restoration and transformation are too important. Children on both sides of the divide deserve peace and it won’t come if the chasm between them only continues to widen.
And so we fight.
We fight against lies that are whispered – taunting that they aren’t people and have no value.
We fight against fear that keeps people from seeking peace.
We fight against the Enemy who keeps people trapped in his snare.
We fight against poverty and hopelessness and despair by bringing water and soap and jobs and a glimmer of hope.
We fight against the status quo by laying aside the American dream to step out on the water.
We fight against the doubt that says we are bad parents for taking our kids there.
We fight against the fear that we aren’t good enough to ever make a difference.
We fight against the quicksand of fear and misunderstanding and intolerance.
We fight for Jes.us and the beauty that His lifegiving Spirit brings.
We fight for people.
We fight for our kids- that they will grow up with eyes to see the world and hearts and respond to its’ deep needs.
We fight for freedom and the Spirit of the Lord that brings it.
We fight for justice – that redemption would be found.
We fight for understanding - that the clash of lies would be quieted and true words would ring forth.
We fight for joy – that it would be seen in us and through us.
We fight for love – that its power would prevail.
We fight for hope – because it is our only leg to stand on.
And so I send him to war and peace reigns in my heart.