It's 2:00 in the morning quiet. The house sleeps, until the weatherstripping sweeps over the threshold of the front door with that distinct swoosh followed by the quick beep, bee-bee-beep of the alarm sensors.
He's home. The underwhelming response to his return is a wife and three children upstairs breathing deeply in the night. Only Boomer has heard him enter, wagging his tail from his corner crate.
Bags dropped in the front hallway, he takes the stairs, the final hurdle to the finish line of his sixteen hour journey from the Guatemalan jungle. He stops in two bedrooms to kiss three foreheads. It will have to suffice until morning, the one that includes a sunrise.
He slides in on his side, and scoots over toward me. I'm not awake until he slides one hand underneath me, reaches the other over the top, and finds my ear with his whisper, "I'm home."
My arm is pinned to my body by his, but I bend my elbow and reach back to hug his upper arm. We squeeze tight. "I'm so glad you're back," I mumble, still clinging.
"I'll be right back, I just need a quick shower." I hear it as sleep once again takes me over, and I don't notice when he returns smelling of soap.
There was a time in my life, before Christ, before a happy marriage, when trips were always about the leaving, and leaving behind, and being torn in two. Trips were long, dreadful goodbyes.
Now they are much more about the return. The bringing in (of over one hundred more kingdom souls), the coming home, and being all one. Now they are the happiest of hellos.
Welcome home, Guatemala Extreme Team.
The video is of 2010 Extreme Guatemala. This year's video is still in the making.