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Poor Wayfaring Stranger

Today, I spoke to:
  1. Laura, my wonderful Wheatonite friend, who I met randomly in London over a year ago. I hadn’t spoken to her in a few months, and it was so good to talk. She’s in North Carolina, will be heading back to New York, and then on to Illinois for the start of the semester. I haven’t seen her since last summer.
  2. Tim, my best buddy, who I met at church in London almost six years ago. I hadn’t spoken to him in a few weeks, so it was good to see how he was doing in his new job, and to share how things had been going for me the last few weeks. He’s a couple weeks into being a doctor in Kent, and I saw him a month and a half ago for his wedding in Colorado.
After talking to these two, I’m missing friends. The life of a global traveler, a third culture kid, isn’t unexciting: moving around, experiencing different cultures, cities and countries, making lots of new friends, trying out new lifestyles, visiting new churches, eating different food. And, it’s true, I have friends (and/or family) all over the world: Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, China, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Nigeria, France, Germany, the UK, and the US.

But … having friends everywhere means just that: they’re everywhere. I can’t just hang out with Tim and Tiff whenever I want, or Laura, or attend Pete and Jo’s wedding (tomorrow), or see my niece and nephews in Australia, or have my mom’s home cooking. Every time I transplant, I leave behind great friends and great memories, and though, thanks to the wonders of global communication technology, I can still keep in touch with friends and family, I miss being present with them.

Perhaps this is especially brought home at this time, when so many friends are going away for the end of the summer: Liz back to MI, Chuck back to OK, Matt & Sara to Fresno and Canada, Stephen to Argentina. To be sure, I’m missing their company.

But I’m also going to have a chance to get reacquainted with old friends: I’m heading up to Seattle at the end of August, when I’ll get to see Jason (baseball in London), Hannah (church in HK), and Phil (also church in HK), people I haven’t seen in years.

As the old song goes, “This world is not my home; I’m just a-passing through …”

One day—and I can’t wait for it—I’ll see all of these people in one place, and we can hang out for a very long time.

[Could be heaven. Could be the day I get married. Take your pick.]

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