We took the conversation home to our hosts. Amy and her husband, Rich, were my husband’s students years ago and Amy worked for him in the media department. Then he married them. Long-term friends. Heavy financial donors. Our kids feel comfortable to go visit them for a weekend, with their kids.Amy is a total homebody. Her end-of-the-earth is at her door. She hates going out to market, to the doctor, or to run errands. Maps drive her nuts. She loves working out of her house. And yet, it isn’t really true that her end-of-the-earth is at her door.
Amy’s home is a delightful collection of country: handmade treasures and hand-stitched creativity cover the whole house. In recent years, with kids grown and gone, she has poured her energy into quilting for charity. The basement walkout floor has sewing machines, scissors, and huge tables for cutting fabric. Bright squares of material stick out of shelf boxes on all sides. As we come and go from the house, we usually find Amy busy in the quilt room, knocking off yet another lap quilt for wounded soldiers or abused children. Amy’s quilts go where she doesn’t go herself.
Her end-of-the-earth also comes to her. One day it was a woman whose son had committed suicide, sitting helping Amy quilt. Or the phone rings and she’s counseling and encouraging women at a distance. A small group meets every fall to design, create and sew, all the while drinking tea and being loved in her home.
When I look around Amy’s house, I see how far her world goes. On the wall and the fridge are many people for whom she prays and writes to around the world. I found pictures of my own family and of remote places we’ve visited. Amy is a homebody, she goes far beyond her walls.
The question isn’t really “are you willing to go the ends of the earth?” but are you willing to step over your OWN end-of-the-earth. I don’t expect to ever see Amy far from home, but I know that her quilts, her mentoring, her prayer, her money given, and her friend-sharing notes take her to the ends of the earth. Amy’s a homebody, but her focus is not on herself, but on the world.