My Word of the Week: Away

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away – adverb \ə-ˈwā\

: from this or that place
: in or to another place or direction
: toward another direction
: in a safe or secure place

__________

For someone who works at home, I’ve spent a lot of time away from the nest over the past few weeks. A 10-day trip to Texas kicked off a busy season of workshops and book signings, of family obligations and medical appointments, of cooking and shopping and celebrating.

From last Thursday evening until just last night, my brief times at home were spent sleeping and preparing to leave again. And in that short stint, land was auctioned, and a loved one laid to rest. Relationships were restored, and old friends reacquainted. Books were sold, and Christmas gifts purchased. I celebrated the season with friends and dreaded the results of medical tests. I cooked and ate and loved and worked.

And drove. Lots and lots of driving.

I don’t like being away much. I also don’t much like being away. Being away a lot leaves me tired, disconnected, languishing.

During Advent, I’ve thought a lot about away-ness, how during this middle time of waiting for Jesus to come again that he’s the one who’s away.

But in truth, it’s not Jesus that’s away. It’s me. The wistfulness of the holiday season, the dashed expectations, the longing for more even in the excess: these are the symptoms of homesickness. And I am the one who’s far from home. Advent longing stirs deeper than just a return visit with Jesus. I long for him to come back and take me with him. To take us all home where we belong.

Maybe that’s the real beauty of the holiday season. That’s the reason things never quite go the way we want or plan. Because no matter where we spend Christmas, we are away from the home we were made for.

I have a few more rides in the car, a few more trips away from home before the New Year is born. And the time away will get harder, not easier.

But the comforts of home keep me going and coming, and the Promise of Home keeps me hoping and believing.

And those medical tests I was dreading? They all came out just fine. Again. And I am thankful.

__________

WORD COUNT: 355


What’s YOUR word of the week? Drop it into the comments section, or share it on this week’s Facebook post. If you post about your word on your blog, please slip the link into a comment below so I can stop by and join you. 


Photo by Cindee Snider Re, used with permission. Definitions of my word of the week are from Merriam-Webster Dictionary Online.

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Charity Singleton Craig

Charity Singleton Craig is a writer, author, and speaker, helping readers grow in their faith and experience true hope in the middle of life’s joys and sorrows. She is the author of My Year in Words: what I learned from choosing one word a week for one year and coauthor of On Being a Writer: 12 Simple Habits for a Writing Life That Lasts.


  • Laura Brown ,

    At least twice in the last week, once from a pulpit, once in a blog post, people have mentioned a lie in the carol “Away in a Manger”: “The little Lord Jesus, no crying he makes.”

    He was a baby. A fully human baby. As helpless and inarticulate as any infant ever born. Of course he cried.

    Because of those, and this, I’m thinking about the first word of that song. His folks were away from home. He began his life away in that sense, yet far, far away from the home he’d come from. He moved through his life here on a slow, sure return to that home. In his last years he was essentially homeless, and surely felt the human emotion of homesickness.

    Keep hoping and believing.

    • Cindee Snider Re ,

      This is one of my favorite images, taken while I was “away” in the rolling hills overlooking the emerald green Umpquah, a place where the veil thinned and eternity broke through, where God reminded me of who I am in Him, of who I was created to be, of who He is, and that He’s got it ALL — every circumstance, every heartbeat, every breath — in the palm of His Hand. This image, this “seeing through a glass darkly” reminds me I’m not Home yet, but a little bit closer every single day.

      I’m sooo grateful for your good test results! Yay!!! Celebrating those today and the beautiful gift of your friendship.

      • Diana Trautwein ,

        WHEW!!! So happy they came back A-OK. And the rest of this sounds like AN AWFUL LOT TO DO JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Breathe, okay? Glad you’re home.