This weekend I attended two gathers with very different types of people and strangely enough felt at home with both. Both are a type of family to me....one I see weekly, the other rarely. Many were new faces, but no matter. With all I had a connection with.
Friday night Drew and I attended a "Hail & Farewell" party on the base. At some bases we have been to, they were held monthly - here, it's more quarterly. Most of the time these are very informal. For this one we were asked to wear a jersey or shirt of our favorite football team. (I have to admit - I was a little taken back by wearing such causal clothes to the General's house. But PROUDLY wore my Ole Miss jersey!) While Drew has attended many here at this base, this was my first one here. Our lives here are so far removed from the base, I pretty much know no one there unless they attend my church or work immediately with Drew. But we went to this one because Drew was one of the "farewells". (We are not moving, but Drew is moving on to a new chapter: retirement and a new job locally.)
With each family, the General told about the bases they had been stationed at, children they had, their favorite football team....With each family, I felt a connection. While names and faces and bases are different, we are part of the same military family. We understand what is not said. We understand the sacrifice and hard work that went on at home while the active duty member was assigned to a deployment or had that job that required the most un-godly hours anyone can pull without sleeping at the office. We all understand how hard moving is, while at the same time it's so exciting to see new people and places (and how we can FINALLY get away from that crazy neighbor!) We understand how we all have maybe too much wanderlust, but still have a desire to see our kids have roots. In so many ways, I feel the most comfortable here. Maybe because, I'm surrounded by those who have walked in my shoes.
The seconded gathering was a training session at our church for a new outreach program. Here, too, I'm surrounded by a family, but in such a different way. While there were a few military families there, I would say most were not. But we all have the same world-view. We all have the same faith. We all have the same destination. Here, I know I can speak of my strong faith without sneering looks of disdain. After all, if you can't share your testimony and faith here, then were can you? If you're not accepted here, then where? I could have only named a few faces with the correct name, but yet still there is a connection here, too. We all can laugh over the same jokes, understand how deep Peace can be, and how Truth has set us free. We're all apart of the same body.
These gatherings were bookends to my weekend. Both were fun....so different but yet so enjoyable. Oh, how I love both.