Saturday, July 07, 2007

a hundred times as much

on july 5, we arrived in san jose in the mid-afternoon, with nothing special to report (thankfully). we stayed in my parents’ home, even though they were out of town (in arkansas for a wedding). it was an unfortunate quirk of the schedule that they were away during the two nights we were in town, but we were thankful to have such a luxurious home base in the bay area.

after a quick lunch and nap, m and i continued on to san bruno, where we gathered with some of my old stanford classmates to celebrate 80 years of marriage — that’s 4 couples x 20 years, as all four couples got married in 1987. because we’ve lived far apart (h and a in places like france, hong kong, and belgium, we in canada), it was the first time we'd been together in years. c and n hosted us all in their newly remodeled home — a stylish two-story with a view of the bay and the airport. absolutely beautiful. it was a joy to see each other, exchange stories, and discover how much everyone's kids have grown! afterward, i found myself thoughtful about how our lives have turned out some 20+ years after graduation — the purposes to which we’ve given ourselves, what we’ve accomplished and what we’re still seeking, possible roads that were not taken.

the next day, we had a leisurely morning before heading over to j and j's in los gatos for an informal get together with family and friends. it was an all day affair — eating, swimming in the pool, and a whole lot of getting caught up with one another. among the highlights were getting in some time with family (especially my nephews and nieces) and visits from friends c and r from crossroads bible church (my home and sending church of 23 years), m (an intervarsity staff friend who brought his four children), and former ssu intervarsity student r, who (along with her 3 boys) surprised us in the driveway as we drove up! later that evening, we spent some quieter time catching up with j and j, who hosted and arranged the day; what a blessing they have been (and continue to be) to us.

early on the morning of july 7 (b's 17th birthday!), we continued our northward trek. we had made plans to stay with the n family (good friends and supporters) in medford, or. little did we know that it would mean staying in one of the most amazing homes we’ve ever seen — a 5,000 square foot wonder designed and built by c, who did the remodel on our home in berkeley nearly a decade ago. it was lovely, wonderfully functional, and nicely appointed; once again, God had arranged unusually pleasant accommodations. we had hoped to catch a play at the shakespeare festival in nearby ashland, but we arrived later than we intended, and after doing a bit of research on ticket availability, decided to spend the evening with our friends — a divine appointment, i think. after a delicious home cooked meal, we went for a walk in the oregon countryside, played football, soccer, and frisbee on the lawn, and enjoyed warm fellowship together. their kids were much more grown up than the last time we saw them, and every bit as delightful.

as we near the conclusion of our trip, we have marveled at the hospitality of the many people who have hosted us along the way. they have opened their homes (some large, some more modest) to welcome us. they made space in their schedules to spend unhurried time with us and have generally gone out of their way for us. we have played and prayed together; they have have given themselves. i’ve never been what some would call 'wealthy,' but all of these folks make me feel rich — and blessed of God. we belong to such a big, diverse, generous family! i know i shouldn’t be surprised, given that all of this is the fulfillment of Jesus’ own words. his promise is true.

Jesus said,
"truly i say to you,
there is no one who has left
house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms,
for my sake and for the gospel’s sake,
but that he will receive a hundred times as much
now in the present age,
houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms,
along with persecutions;
and in the age to come, eternal life."

mark 10:29-30

1 comment:

Kiri said...

To bad you were not able to see a play in Ashland. When I was a teenager my dad was the Plant Manager at the theater. I got to see all the plays for free every summer when I visited him. They were some of the best performances I have ever seen in my life. Great talent there. Besides the plays, I also did a little volunteer work, mainly carrying boxes/packages from the main office to my dad's office.