This morning we left the city that we have visited for the past four nights. We traveled to Charleston, SC for the wedding of our youngest niece and for Janet and her two sisters to have some family time together. But, honestly, it has been a whirlwind. Bridal events, breakfasts, rehearsal and dinner – as well as the wedding and reception itself have all been a part of the blur of the last several days. After all the events with our niece and her new husband, we had a day at leisure yesterday.
Friday, Janet and I did manage to visit the City Market and yesterday we had a full day doing things that we enjoy whenever we visit a new city – or, in this case, come back to a city that we haven’t seen in twenty years or more. We had a great breakfast in the courtyard of our historic downtown hotel and then headed over to the Visitor Center to check out things that we could do during the day.
We have learned that whenever we are on a cruise or arriving in a city, we love the historical aspects of the place that we are visiting. Whether we are in the Orkney Islands on the northern coast of Great Britain or in Santorini, Greece, or at Denali in Alaska, we find ourselves looking for a way to take a bus and see the sights – learning about people and places as we journey.
Fortunately, Charleston has such a tour and it happened to depart right across the street from our hotel. We were lucky enough to catch a noon start time and spent the next 90 minutes learning about the history, neighborhoods, development, destruction and the rebuilding of the city through its various seasons of life. We saw areas that have been in existence for several hundred years and some of the marvels of modern architecture that create some of the mystique of the city.
After our tour, we headed to the grounds of the military college of South Carolina, the Citadel! And then off to a site that I have heard about and wanted to visit. It is the resting place of the Hunley Submarine – a Civil War era human powered sub that was active in the mid-1800’s. It is difficult to believe that up to eight men powered the sub by hand turning a crank in a chamber that was 40′ long, 42″ wide and 48″ tall – lit by a single candle.
After several disastrous missions, where multiple crews perished, the Hunley was towed back to shore and was once again commissioned to attempt the destruction of a ship that was part of a northern blockade of Charleston Harbor. While their mission was accomplished, the entire crew perished in the aftermath of torpedoing its enemy. It was the first time that a sub had been used to sink an adversary with a torpedo.
The submarine is undergoing a restoration and it was amazing to see the original sub – with photos and its history displayed in an area that was manned by volunteers and docents who knew a great deal about its Civil War encounters. As is our custom, we purchased a Christmas ornament for our travel tree!
We did several other things as well, but was abundantly evident was the fact that a city is a melting pot – made up of its people as well as its attractions. People are generally kind down south, representative of that old southern charm, and we couldn’t have been treated nicer by the local community. I don’t know when we will get back again, but it has been memorable. Regardless of whatever city we are in, it is always nice to spend time with family – this time at a destination wedding.
But no matter where we have traveled there is no place like home. And that’s where we were headed this morning. The anticipation of arriving home is always a welcome thought. And while each city has its own personality, the comfort and familiarity of our own home is something that just can’t be beat. And, of course, the most important attraction of home is the fact that all three of our children live within 10 minutes of our location. Who could ask for anything more? On a side note, 15 hours after we left, we arrived home a few minutes ago – and I am sitting in my favorite chair while I post this latest article!
That brings me to the point that for those of us who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior; no earthly dwelling is really our home. We may be visiting here but heaven is our eternal home. Our verse for this evening is from the book of Hebrews where the author is speaking about the faith of those who believed God and followed his will for their lives.
Abraham, one of those who was considered righteous, is mentioned by name – telling us about what he was looking for during his travels. We are told, in Hebrews 11:8-10, “By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.”
My encouragement tonight is that whatever city you may live in, there is a better one waiting for you some day – your home for all eternity. My prayer is that while we are here, we will strive to make our homes as great as we can and that will appreciate the various things that other people groups and geographical locations have to offer. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…