Invisible Strings

I recently took a weeklong trip home to Michigan from Nashville, Tennessee. It was a solo journey. No kids. No dog. And no expert-level navigational director (also known as my wife).

Just me and my thoughts.

I was looking forward to this trip. I made very few plans. I only wanted to have quality conversations (and fun) with people I care about. One evening, as I sat on the beach, mesmerized by the sun’s descent over Lake Michigan, it struck me that I hadn’t yet figured out where I was going to sleep that night. Ultimately, I decided the SUV was my best option. It was a good idea until the air mattress deflated.

That was a long night.

I talked to a lot of strangers. The awkward guy with a metal detector on the beach who told me about his latest finds. The fun couple at the campground. And the proud owner of a small sub shop who says her place is twenty times better than Subway, and she ain’t wrong.

I’ve taken similar trips home before, but this one was different. Normally, I’d go to the city where I was born, and I’d drench myself in nostalgia. I would revisit the places of my youth, and I’d listen closely to the voices of my past. I would walk up the driveway of my childhood home and check out where I carved my name in the cement: CURT 1974. I would quickly scale the bleachers at my high school and laugh at how back in the day I did that faster and was barely winded.

This trip was different.

I didn’t experience the usual wave of nostalgia. While driving around, it dawned on me that this trip wasn’t rooted in the past; it was centered on connections. It was hugs, handshakes, hotdogs, and a heaping helping of healing.

It was about the invisible strings—moments shared with those I’m eternally connected to. I had the opportunity to thank my former boss for believing in me. And I shared moments of laughter and prayer with men I consider my brothers.

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance we too share invisible strings. Maybe we’re family. Maybe we met when I was in kindergarten. Or maybe we worked together. This trip home was God’s reminder that I am blessed beyond measure. The strings may be invisible, but I see them. And when I stumble, I grab for them and I pull myself back up.

You did that.

You and the invisible strings.