Life is hard right now. When you think it can't get any worse, of course it does.
God forces you to cross the Mason-Dixon line.
Into a place without biscuits or sweet tea, where Pontiacs and pot-holes abound and smoking is smiled upon in such a way that R.J. Reynolds could only dream of. The closest restaurant is a place called "EatnPark" and appears to be a bad imitation of Shoney's. Leigh and I have been here for not even a few hours and already I can't wait to be back home.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to be here, in spite of the circumstances. It's been 10 years, and seeing family is great, seeing my Dad's old neighborhood is educational (I learned tonight that he carried a pistol at one point when he was 18 because of "street action") and Leigh and I are great road trip companions. But I am a stranger in a strange land. It's hard for me to feel at peace here--even time I spent out west or in New York doesn't compare to how uncomfortable this place makes me. My home is in the South, and I hope it always will be.
On a related note (I'll get there, don't worry) some folks keep asking how they can pray. My most common answer recently is that God would increase our faith. Please don't stop with that one, we still need it badly. For those of you hurling up the unsolicited prayers that we would have rest, or experience God's love, or have healing, thank you. I feel like we got a little bit of that today. It wasn't an easy day, but we've laughed a lot at a culture so foreign yet similar to what we're familiar with. Leigh and I love being together in these situations.
And we're increasingly grateful we don't live in the North.