Which means, literally, well come. Or welcome. For the past two years my brother, Nathanael, has been serving a mission for our church in France and Switzerland. He gets in this evening and my whole family will crowd at the bottom of the escalator in the airport waiting for him.
I was a missionary myself, in France. I didn't love every minute of it. But I loved most of it: I loved France, loved what I learned and loved what I was able to teach others. I got to walk down little cobbled streets like this one, speaking French and eating pastries! And it will be funny to have Nith (as we call him) to come home speaking French.
It's an odd thing to come home to your family after two years away with minimal contact. One experiences a bit of culture shock. It's kind of a bummer that American streets don't look like that, isn't it.
When I came home, back before September 11th, those coming to pick up a missionary at the airport could wait right outside that nice tunnel one walks through after getting off the plane. I was so nervous to be home (maybe weird, but true) that I waited to get off the plane until almost everyone else had gone. Now regular people without plane tickets have to wait outside the security checkpoints, of course.
Nathanael won't have the pressure of a million people waiting to pounce the minute he gets off the plane. But he may have it worse. Now he has to come down the escalator to the baggage claim, where we will watch him descend in all his sleep deprived glory.
I can't wait.