12/28/05 I’ll be Home for Christmas—Part I
On the trip back home, a dense fog enveloped the road and made the driving rather stressful. Mile after mile, it clung to the ground, making me weary from the intense focus on the road ahead. My speed decreased as the visibility weakened. Some cars were still going the speed limit, and a few, like me, were going slower.
I kept hoping that the fog would lift. It was hard to believe it covered such a great distance and persisted for that period of time. I was tired of driving in it. The temptation to pull over was great, but I knew that it would be highly unlikely that the fog would lift just because I took a break from it. I had to keep on going, even though my hands ached from gripping the wheel and my eyes felt the strain.
As the miles slipped away, and I came closer to our destination, I began to wonder if I had slowed down for a reason that had nothing to do with the fog. Christmas was almost over. Somewhere, somehow, I knew that a family would receive the Christmas miracle of having a missing loved one come home. I knew that I might not ever know who it was, or what the circumstances would be, but just that it would happen. I also knew that the odds were astronomical that the miracle, this particular miracle, would happen to me and my family.
I was still miles away from home, but I could visualize our front porch, shrouded in darkness and shadows. I could see a person sitting on the porch, waiting. Reality came creeping back in and the person disappeared, leaving the shadows behind. I could then visualize walking in the house, and hearing the phone ring. I would run to the phone, and it would be him. Reality, however, only brought silence.
It occurred to me that the drive home in the fog paralleled my life. Even though I could not see much of the road ahead, I knew it was there. My faith told me it existed. There would be twists and turns and bumps, and no matter what came of it, I would need to keep going. Pulling over and giving up was not an option. It would not be easy, but I could do it. I could continue to live in the not knowing.
As we pulled into the driveway, Bing Crosby sang the last refrain to a well known Christmas song: “I’ll be home for Christmas, if only in my dreams......”
We entered the dark house and carried in our packages. Nothing had changed since we had left.
“I’ll be Home for Christmas” will continue on Thursday.