The beach was fun, but now we’re done, and we pile sand and wet clothes and runny noses and sick children and ground up granola into our truck and head for home. Home is the destination and we want to be there soon, because we are sick, tired, irregular, and uncomfortable. Home is where we will be healed through rest that doesn’t come from a hotel room and a pack-and-play and a three year old with a cold. Home is where the pillows are, and the fruits and vegetables, and the sweatpants, and the deodorant that has gone missing along with the sunblock.
We drive and the children sing and fight, fight and sing. The adults stare and try not to be carsick and ingest caffeine while debating the existence of dirty diapers.
It’s a long drive and we finally reach the fields, almost home, just a few more hours, just a little while longer. I have to go to the bathroom, but I missed the chance, and I am waiting, longing for home.
The orange sign glares through the harvest air, the sky blue shrouded in brown from the dust and we breathe thick and despair. DETOUR.
We see our turn off, but the road is closed. DETOUR. The detour is long and the GPS shows a straight line, going and going, and it does not show the finish line.
We pass a building, “Bean & Seed Co., Inc.” and I think about Inc. and Co. and the difference, and why both, and we drive on, past rows of cotton and tomato grids. Wooden boxes are stacked in a row and it is a barren place full of produce.
Caravans of harvest trucks rumble past, kicking flurries of hay into the air, and as they settle on the asphalt I begin to loathe DETOURS and feel afraid and helpless. We are alone with machinery and everything is tame and there is no wilderness and we are lost without toilet paper and the children are crying, but we cannot stop. We must get home.
Harvest time is impersonal and too-personal and I watch the plants surrender their labor and the machines shake them dry. The leaves will be brown soon.
We drive through a town the size of a blink, but I don’t stop because I don’t speak the language of the Market, and the people look dusty. I tell my husband that I’ve never heard of a missionary going to Huron, and the apartment buildings have tinfoil windows.
We drive on and I wish for home again.
And when my faith wavers, and I am frightened for myself, and worried about the people who block the sun with tin, I remember His words, which are true and good. I know again that I have a destination; detours are part of it.
“Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.” -Deuteronomy 7:9
Thankful along the detour for:
Family at the beach over bowls of clam chowder
propane heaters on a restaurant patio, scenting the coastal air with gas and warmth
nieces to hold
early morning mocha’s
husband who turns into rock when it seems like the tide is going to wash us away
serious conversations about whether God can eat a rocket ship
sand and babies and babies in sand
full tanks of gas
fast food salads
knowing that someday I’ll be Home
knowing that the journey is important
excitement in the unknown
#239-254 of gifts I’ve found along the way. Click below to start your own list, they’re especially helpful during detours.