Life is full and rich and hard. I suspect that many can relate and many others might think, “Kathy you have no idea what hard is,”…..they would be right.

I am having trouble getting much written this week. However, I have a picture I just don’t want to lose in the shuffle.

Jill took this picture at the airport on Saturday night.

Those arms had been poised in position for a while.

These are part of a series, Jill started snapping just before Gina appeared at the top of the stairs. I love Jill’s instinct to capture an unfolding story. To me, this moment is poetic and deeply truthful.

It is the fruit of deep love and missing. It is Russell’s deep love for his girl.

I think one of the things I like about these pictures is that there are no identifying faces. It could be anyone.

That catches me. It could literally be anyone. Because every human on earth is deserving of this love, this enthusiasm, this welcome.

These images put me in mind of the enthusiasm of the father in the prodigal son story in the Bible. That father went against the culture of his day because of his love for his son. He was a civilized rich man, it was abnormal for him to run, but he saw his son in the distance and he seemed unable to hold himself back. He ran to greet and welcome him.

The hymn “O Holy Night” has a line, “til he appeared and the soul felt it’s worth.” I have been thinking about that so much. I am thankful. I am thankful that the arrival of the Christ child is about worth, about welcome, about arms closed to no one. That sits well within me. Except it’s hard hard hard to follow in his way.

Gina is blessed to be welcomed home with sincere and loving exuberance. I told her I want to make a poster for her using this picture. Life throws curveballs, I want her to never forget that she has a place of love and welcome. But the truth is, I believe, we all do. Our truth is our deep worth, our belonging. The fact that we are beloved. Noise and pain try to drown that out but ultimately they can’t.

Til he appeared and the soul felt it’s worth. ❤ Merry Christmas ❤

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