I awkwardly hugged someone I didn't know tonight. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a physical touch person. I snuggle my kids, but I am not a natural hugger. Yet tonight I accidentally went in for a hug instead of a handshake when I met my new BSF discussion group leader. I don't know if it is because she is from the Quad Cities, or I miss being part of BSF so much or that I haven't been around very many people in the last month but I cannot believe I hugged.
Right now it is 10:30 PM. The sliding door to our patio is open, and the smell of tree blossoms in the desert are wafting in, telling me that spring in the desert is the best thing ever. It really is beautiful here. There are mountains and sunshine and cacti and ninety degree days in March. It feels like a place I want to make home. But I miss my friends.
I miss chatting before service or Puggles class. I miss occasionally meeting a friend for coffee or discussing an interesting topic in Sunday school. I miss not having to say my kids' names and ages or trying to explain the special needs of our family. I miss knowing people and I miss being known.
We have been visiting various churches, which feels very American when I think about it too long. Is the preaching solid? Is the music okay? Is there anything at all for our kids yet is it a church that will not just entertain our kids? Is it close enough? Is it not too big not too small? It begins to feel a bit like shopping or like a scene from Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I don't want to shop for a church. I just want to go and know others and be known and hear the Gospel.
We may have found a home church. It still feels a little early to know for sure, especially since it will be another denomination change for our family. But I want to stop shopping and settle. There's a comfort I already feel on Sunday mornings there, just three visits in. When I take the bread and the cup each week, I am comforted by the familiar, by the knowing, by the being known. When the Scripture is read, when the hymns are sung, when the benediction is given, I lose my homesickness for ninety minutes. And isn't that the purpose of it all? To point us home?