Sunday, January 10, 2010

Another Road

And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road. Matthew 2:12

We will celebrate the Epiphany in Church today with the children telling the story of the arrival of the wise men from the East. Often this arrival is depicted immediately after the birth of Jesus, but it is clear that some time passes before they arrive. They have a long way to get there. Their expedition was challenging. They were charmed and entertained by the local governor, chief priests and the king. All this before they found the child Jesus with his parents in a humble dwelling in Bethlehem. Although struggling to find him their joy was great when they did. And yet these wise men listened to their dreams and took another detour to get home. We can often find ourselves on roads we didn't expect following detours that seem unexplained and mysterious. It seems at times that our lives are filled with yet another road.

My husband and I have been traveling for several days - a little time away after a busy season for some rest. We traveled some familiar roads, yet had to make detours because of traffic and circumstances. On Friday night our plans changed suddenly when we got a call from our son-in-law, Adam to tell us our daughter Ariel was hit by a car. She was fine but suffering from a severe concussion and multiple bruises - no bone were broken. We made haste and tried to get to Bethlehem (PA) where she was in the hospital. She was released and home before we arrived, since we had to take many roads and detours on the way. I was thrilled and relieved to see her, and it was as if I could finally breath again. I couldn't help but wonder whether the wise men felt both the frantic compulsion to find the child as well as the frustration of the detours we felt. And the joy we felt when finally being able to see our child - well, it must have been something like that for them.

Today, I can only be grateful for the love we have from God, which traveled with us on our detours as well as the straight highways. Love that knows a mother's heart. Love that is on the road, with us for the distance, no matter how far we have come from and no matter how far we are sent. May God bless us all with the knowledge of this love that surrounds and protects us all despite the challenges, detours and journeys we face.

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