I'm looking for a place to hide. I want to slip out the back door, shuffle down the sidewalk and disappear into the night. It wouldn't be the first time I've pulled the trick. In my late teens and early 20's, I developed the habit of escape. It was easier to shuffle away quietly while everyone was occupied and attending to other matters. It was easier than saying "goodbye". I'm looking for a way to do that again. In January, we leave for three years. We've done this before and you might think that it gets easier but it seems to get harder. The pain of transition and separation makes me want to decrease the portion of myself that I share. Maybe if I only share the skin-deep places then leaving will feel like a scrape rather than a cut. However, I suspect that life at skin-deep is barely life at all. The truth is, I won’t do what I want to do. I won’t slip out the back door. I won’t love you skin-deep or escape will you’re attending to other matters. While my heart pounds with anticipation of a deep, cutting pain, I will look you in the eye and say it. “Good bye”. On Saturday, Jade and I will go to Uganda for a week. We’ll be back here through Thanksgiving and Christmas but we’re on a plane in the first few days of the new year. Whenever I say “goodbye” to you over the next two months, please remember these two things: first, while I still don’t like saying the words, I refuse to slip out the back door and second, I am overjoyed to be called by God into a life of missionary service. Thank you for being a friend to a man (and family) on the move. I love you.