Late November sunshine and piles of snow. The air smells like Christmas trees. Car doors open with yells and jokes and laughter. Friends with personality flavors as diverse as the balsam, douglas fir and spruce variety blends on the tree farm.
I love them. I miss them. I miss the love, the hugs, the breath of fresh air their personalities bring. I miss the familiarity and the memories that pattern our childhood histories.
This is what is hard about living in Moscow I miss the feeling I get in a group like this – hedged in on every side with walls of grace, love, appreciation, friendship.
I’m storing everything up – trying to tuck away the memories like a collection of glassy ornaments to take back to Moscow. I want to bring them out for decoration on the cold gray days I’m afraid are ahead.
It’s easy here for me to relax, to be real, to be kind. It’s easy for me to care about people when they’re so near and when they care about me.
But what about in Moscow? How can I be kind there? How can I care about people? What do I do when this kind hedge is taken away?
“We love because He first loved us…” – 1 John 4:19
I find myself returning to my first hedge – evergreen in its love and grace. And only in Him, growing out of my closeness to Him, do I find a root to ground myself. His love shoots up, like a strengthening trunk, branching out to give me eyes to see, ears to hear and a soft heart to care.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” – John 15:4