Bye Bye Blue Ridge

Pretty much everything about the Kansas City landscape feels different than Virginia. I’d be lying to say I’m not homesick for the Blue Ridge beauty. Highways have replaced what used to be my tree-lined drive home. I’ve turned in my trail-running shoes for a membership to a gym that’s open 24 hours (it’s one of those gyms where women wear lifting gloves). The other night, Nate suggested making a run to Target to treat ourselves to ice cream. Nope,  Target hasn’t started selling soft-serve, we just can’t find a place that beats (much less matches) our Charlottesville favorite, Arch’s.

It was a sad day celebrating over a “special treat” from a cardboard carton.

I wish I was mature enough to put an end to the constant thread of comparisons in my head, but to be honest I’ve been self-indulgent. Pouty.

But there is one place I can go here to stop that line of thinking.

And for my birthday afternoon (yes, my age is finally catching up to my gray hair) one of the gifts I have been given is the gift of time. More than peruse the 356 strip mall shopping centers within a 15 mile radius from our home or grunt alongside the other women at 24hour fitness, I want to sit in the prayer room.

This place is like another planet. It’s the melting pot of nations, in the middle of Kansas City. Each time I’ve walked in here since we came, I look around and think … we are one of the many who left much to come here. My story, however unique it feels to me, is probably mirrored hundreds of times over in this room. People who love Jesus, living it out through prayer and acts of justice, called to this little dot on the map in middle-America for a season of their lives.

I wonder if they cry about how many highway interchanges they have to travel just to go to the post office or if they, too, sometimes wish a tornado would take out one of these shopping centers (in the middle of the night, of course, so no one is injured) to create more green-space.

Then, when my mind stops spinning, I sink into my chair and drink the worship like a large cup of chai on a cold day. In the background, an 8-piece band and 5 singers are singing “whom have I but You.”

And I realize there is beauty to be found here, too.