"We are so impatient to reach the end."
Christmas Eve night my brother drove on an icy road from my parents home to the emergency room to greet a family of a man who had overdosed on heroin. The man had scientifically died, but was brought back to life by modern technology and science, now in a hospital bed surrounded by a grieving family. Christmas Day, my brother searched for cell phone service at my grandparents house (a hilarious quest, as my cousins and I all know, there is barely any reception to be had there). He labored to the point of at last regaining communication with the family, as well as the addict. He implored them; treatment is needed, and now. As my family watched my brother's urgency to save the life of another man, the truth we had already known became even more clear. Our pain had a purpose. My brother's physical pain, his own overdoses of the past, needed to happen. Most of us have understood this as we've watched the last couple of years unfold. But this truth, hard to swallow as I still have my own private celebrations of my brothers sobriety, now in the two year mark, reminds me of a greater metaphor. Incredible, unfathomable pain that had to occur in order for greater purpose, freedom, meaning, to be ours. To me, this is the gospel fleshed-out.
To me, my dog's attraction to sunlight, friendly elderly people, and chocolate souffle, those too are the gospel fleshed-out. But great sacrifice, necessary for freedom, this is the very gospel fleshed-out. What a delight.
"And so we have a hard time being true adventurers. Because pain is an adventure. And grief is an adventure. And death is absolutely an adventure. Doing the hard thing is an adventure. And being known (as well as knowing) is an adventure. And forgiveness is an adventure. And loving is an adventure, the most dangerous of them all."
We left for our adventure almost a year ago. You may guess I am speaking of our 3000 mile move, but the pain, grief, being known, forgiveness, and in turn, loving, that has been our adventure. And as we plan to arrive back where we started in an almost ironic sort of phrase, we will never be where we once were. As we drive back to New York, to the city, to the town, to the families and people we have known most familiarly in our lives--we will be arriving at the farthest from home we've ever been.
"So here's to adventuring, for more than just adventure's sake."