One of the unexpected blessings of family photo accounts is that you never quite know what you might get when you open your app. Over the years, I’ve been met with myriad shots of interesting insects, countless selfies, and more than a few videos of kids riding, scooting, crawling, jumping, dancing, or otherwise doing something deemed noteworthy by some random family member. It’s fun, usually, to see snippets of daily life I missed right here under my roof through the eyes of my husband or kids.
Other times, it’s a glimpse into what I’m missing elsewhere. Logging in to our photo stream is a morning ritual for us when Daddy is away. Through pictures of temples in Cambodia, rice paddies in Thailand, food in Myanmar, church gatherings in Nepal and such, my husband doesn’t seem quite so far away… even when an entire globe is separating us. A photo of a raging river tells us a bit of the story he’s part of in that moment, and weaves together some of the threads of what is happening here with what he’s experiencing there.
Because the photos are sorted by time added, it’s not unusual to find six photos of Birdie and Jack on the swings here at Floating Axe Farm sandwiched in between stunning vistas of the the annual burning of the Thai countryside. I personally love those little idiosyncrasies. Scrolling through our photo stream feels like a step back from the small, short focus of one place— it is more of a representation of the ripple effect a family can have throughout the world and over time.
Because of all of this, I wasn’t surprised during Christopher and Mary Hannah’s most recent trip to Nepal to find that their lives and ours had overlapped and gone on, unaware. But I was surprised to see this:
And then, a short time later, this:
On one side of God’s world, Christopher grabbed his iPhone and snapped a simple shot of two of our daughters, standing on a bridge just outside of Kathmandu.
On the other, I had a camera, and paused during a visit to a state park to assemble the rest of our brood on a bridge over a running creek here in Tennessee.
Miles and miles apart, and yet…
The ties, always, still bind.
Right now, we’re looking ahead to Babita re-applying for a student visa to the United States. We’re taking a slightly different approach in the hopes that this year, the answer might be yes. I’d be lying if I said we were fully optimistic; the tide has taken a decided turn against the extension of visas to newcomers, and our already-deemed-“undesirable” daughter has no more going for her today than she did last summer, or the many years before that. But God is God. He builds bridges. Our hearts’ desire is that right now, He is working on a bridge that will span from Kathmandu to East Tennessee.
He is able to be in two places at once. He is able to work on all things. We trust that He is doing so, right now, for us.