One conversation in the church hallway:
Q: Did you miss us?
A: That's a yes-or-no question. Why not ask me what I missed the most?
Q: OK, what did you miss the most?
A: I missed all the stories. I am curious to ask people, "What happened with that diagnosis? Where is that troublesome kid of yours? How are you coping with the loneliness you felt in May? What has God been doing in your life?"
Another conversation, this time in the parking lot:
Q: Are you planning another sabbatical yet? It's only six years and nine months away.
A: Actually I will try to have a brief sabbatical during every single day. Maybe ten minutes, perhaps an hour. It is God's gift to put some space into the middle of all our work.
A brief interchange, in my study:
Q: You will not believe what I got into this summer.
A: Try me. And then, if you're interested, I will tell you a story or two of my own.