Question: When you haven't seen a dear friend in over 2 years and you're finally on the same continent and are only a measly 10 hours apart over the holidays, what do you do?
Answer: Drive 5 hours each and meet in the middle, of course!
The middle happened to be Dallas, so my good friend Jen and I met there to spend a couple of days catching up and hanging out with our friend Stuart. Jen and I were roommates in Belfast when I was a Young Adult Volunteer there from 2004-2005, and Stuart was also a Y.A.V., in Argentina. It really did feel like no time had passed. Here are some of my glimpses of grace from the visit:
-Going to a cafe and drinking coffee for 3 1/2 hours while watching the rain bucket down outside, glad for the warm dry place to sit and the easy conversation (and the free coffee refills).
-A Methodist church with this simple, profound message displayed at their door.
-Going the the Dallas Museum of Art (another great rainy day activity) and enjoying the beautiful sculptures of The Mourners (from the court of Burgundy in the 14th and 15th centuries), a surprising Monet, African and Indian clothing and sculptures and much more. I even saw my mother's Acapulco dishes on display! When we first entered, we took this picture, thinking a mirror would be an easy way to get both of us in the picture (albeit looking in different places, but oh well). This led to an entertaining game of "find mirrors to take pictures in."
(I think we look like we're haunting this mirror.)
-Sitting in a Mexican restaurant for a "snack" of shrimp tacos, cerveza, salsa and chips and having another of those great conversations.
-Stuart bringing us coffee and donuts in the morning, along with the paper. Having just met his lovely girlfriend the night before, I remarked, "And this, Stuart, is why you have a girlfriend." Such a kind fellow. And Jen and I, as you can see, like our food and coffee.
-A gorgeous view of sun shining through clouds accompanying me on my long drive home. I know that for everyone there are moments when the presence of God is something to be questioned, but then there are moments like these, when God is as real as the sun shining on my face or a reunion with an old friend.