After a rather depressing Christmas Day with my wife sleeping 20 hours out of 24, my children in Casa Blanca, and receiving messages of joy from family and friends too far to drop in on, today began with a spark of hope. Margarita was Margarita. When she was up she walked like a woman who’d just given birth, but when we cuddled, well, I just didn’t want to get up to go to church.
But I did and I’m glad for it. Hno. Angel led with two country gospel songs in Spanish. Then he surprised me by asking me to do the welcome speech. Other than forgetting to ask about the two new faces, I did OK. Hno. Francisco’s message was on Luke 2:7 and led perfectly into my prepared discourse to follow.
I made sure everyone was aware we are a Baptist church, we have a Baptist tradition, and that we celebrate the season of Advent traditionally. Then I opened the Spanish Baptist Hymnal and sang the first lines of traditional Christmas carols. Only Hno. Santiago could join in. When I’d made my Baptist point, I asked Hno. Angel, our Praise and Worship leader, to arrange to have us sing some next year. I also asked that whoever is in charge of Sunday services prepare to tell the story of the miracles, the trials, and the joys of the Advent. I will remind them next November.
But the best part was coming home. I barely got the door open and Adrianita jumped into my arms with the kind of hug any man would want from a daughter. Sure, it was over the present she found on her bed but it felt so good. Luís couldn’t wait for his turn. I hugged and kissed them both with all the love I’d been storing up during the four days they were in Casa Blanca. María was not neglected. Margarita had already put her to work preparing my lunch. She got her hug and kisses too. The house was a home again.