Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Visiting Far-Flung Family

Mom and I are halfway through our time visiting Aunt Joyce and the cousins in Alaska. I've been a bit uneasy, unsure what makes each one tick. How I can reach out to and understand them? How should I behave; what does it means to be friendly without trespassing, considerate, a good guest? It can be so hard to tell. Sometimes interacting with a stranger is easier; you have a blank slate.

Here I am aware of that tension I often feel when traveling between one community and another, that sense of  "these are my people  / but (at the same time) these are not my people."

There have been some good moments, but still waves of homesickness, displacement.

Too much is ambiguous or out of your control, both practically and emotionally, when you travel, especially when you are traveling with others. One of the reasons some people prefer to stay home where life is more predictable. I find, however, that the benefits of braving those things and putting oneself in a vulnerable position often outweigh the risk and pain.

My friend Craig, a pastor in British Columbia, wrote a helpful post about building connections especially with those close to you. I'm adding it to my collection of things to ponder on the topic of listening. See Building Trust by Building Connections.
The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters,
but a man of understanding draws them out.

- Proverbs 20:5

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