Disappointing, Lonely Drive

Saturday, December 8th around 10:30 a.m., I aimed my car toward Alabama from Winona, MS. Unlike other weekend preaching appointments, I was traveling solo. To my dismay, Bonnie had not recovered sufficiently from her gallbladder surgery on Wednesday to make the trip with me on Saturday. Friday, though, I had taken her to the office, about an eighth of a mile from our residence, because on one hand I could not leave her alone due to her recent operation and on the other hand I was expecting a delivery at the office. Not knowing when the delivery would come, I needed to be there all day. Of course, Bonnie resumed office duties; she did lie down for a while on one of the couches. However, three of her four incisions had now bled by Friday evening.

Taj Mahal

Bonnie had been resting in bed Friday evening when she came to the living room to inform me that she had texted Rebecca to come down for the weekend and stay with her while I went to my appointments. Of course, that was the correct thing to do, but I was disappointed that she would not be traveling with me Saturday and Sunday. We had not been separated from each other for a day for decades, maybe between 25 and 30 years. Especially now that our children are grown, she goes everywhere with me stateside and abroad. We work in the same small office space. For years, it has been nearly impossible to buy her a card or a gift without her knowing ahead of time, since she and I are always side-by-side.

Naturally, I found my journey on Saturday and Sunday a lonely one. Standing at the door greeting churchgoers exiting the auditoriums where I had spoken, I found myself thanking brethren for having “us” on the Lord’s Day.

The David and Kelli Barker family lodged me Saturday night in their home. Especially their daughter Anna was familiar to me since I have been teaching her in Bible Geography classes for years at Polishing the Pulpit. It was a pleasure as well to renew acquaintance with her older sister Kayla, too. Reesey, the Barkers’ miniature Dachshund was a new friend, once the initial barking at a stranger subsided. Not long after my arrival, my new four-legged friend took a nap in my lap.

Midway Church of Christ

Midway Church of Christ

Sunday morning for Bible class, I made my 2012 Mission Trips PowerPoint presentation for the Midway Church of Christ in Trinity, AL. For worship, I preached Worshipping Almighty God Acceptably and with Godly Fear. After lunch out at the local countryside eatery, I headed toward my next appointment near Jasper, AL. That evening, I made my 2012 Mission Trips presentation to the Blackwater Macedonia Church of Christ. Both congregations received me well and offered words of encouragement. The latter church does not support Bonnie and me regularly in our mission endeavors, but it subscribes to The Voice of Truth International magazine and helps with foreign radio programs. Blackwater Macedonia has been working with J.C. and Betty Choate for many years, but since the passing of brother J.C., Bonnie and I report to these brethren regarding the work that they continue to embrace.

Sunday evening, I made my three and a half hour journey back home to Winona. Both Saturday and Sunday, Bonnie not being with me, I opted for sandwiches and brief stops at mealtimes instead of choosing something such as Cracker Barrel. Things are different when by oneself as opposed to being with one’s better half. We both dread the day when illness or death will prevent us from traveling the highways and byways of life together in the service of our Lord. (Some years ago while aboard an airliner with Bonnie and Rebecca returning from overseas, I remarked that perhaps Bonnie and I will die together – maybe on an airplane. Our daughter immediately objected, saying, “Wait a minute! I’m on this airplane!) I am so happy that Bonnie and I are making our pilgrimage together toward the heavenly hereafter!

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