Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

At Louis Armstrong Airport, Jason takes
My black-clad arm as we approach the gates
Where no Saint Peter stands as guard, and slakes
My cheerlessness. The Czech Republic waits.
My son—the one departing—jokes, and makes
Me laugh through tears. “You’ve raised a missionary,”
My husband says, and this despair abates.
Lord Jesus, on Your greater strength, I tarry.
How like Your fairer images he seems!
The blue eyes, blond hair past his ear in waves,
The goatee, like faint ash across his chin
Unshaved mid these evangelistic teams
Who long to raise Departures from their graves,
And save respected strangers from their sin.

—Jennifer Reeser