“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
He has indeed called us Heavenward. And even as we battle down here we are thinking of that hereafter, that future time where the cares of this world are but a lost memory.
And as I lay awake in the dark tallying up my worries, thinking about all the things I wish I could fix but can’t, I write my own Psalm and call it 139 and three-quarters.
For the umpteenth time, I give Him my laundry list of things, those that He already knows about me and I feel it float Heavenward as He assures me He loves me anyway, again.
When sleep is snatched away by the cares of this world, I pray in the wide awake moments before dawn and I feel the peace of my home surrounding me like a cloak. Though worldly sorrow nips at the edges of my heart, the hope of His peace seeps in and around it like Holy smoke. This is the prayer I pray:
“Bind us together Lord, bind us together with cords that cannot be broken.”
And then I think of the sock that made its way into my suitcase. Her little sock.
I don’t know how it got there, but I am glad it came back with me.
I think of all the pictures I didn’t take, and how my camera never left its bag. And how I couldn’t care less because what we had instead was much more beautiful.
I thought of how we hid every possible place in the house and how she covered her eyes and counted and giggled as we crouched together in the dark closet while my Dad looked for us. She still hasn’t got the part where she is supposed to stay quiet while she hides, and that makes it all the more precious somehow.
Years from now, I will remember how we all collapsed on the couch after we were done, and how Mom came in and asked what we had all been doing to look so exhausted.
I thought of how I put swim goggles on along with my wrinkles and flat hair and went all the way under the water because she wanted to see me under there with her. I can still hear her shriek of excitement, “You too, Nori!”
It was also a weekend of some firsts. She sat down beside me on the couch with a book and let me read to her, something I have dreamed of ever since she was born. It was like a mini miracle. And how she wedged herself into the couch close by me, wanting to be right by my side all weekend long.
We went to the store together and she helped me shop. Another first. Store was always a scary place for her before.
No, I didn’t get one photograph of fall, not one red leaf, not one landscape of how the morning mist lay in the vineyards, and not the one of the old barn I saw either. Sometimes life just can’t be freeze framed, it has to be lived. The leaf you see is one I took a year or so ago.
This was not the time to chase the perfect shot. It was the time to savor, and treasure, and corral that which there is never enough of.
That’s what the sock reminded me of.
And looking at it now, I’m smiling as big as the face on the sock because when I look at it, I can still hear “You too, Nori!”
Sometimes, Heaven’s a place you can find here. It’s in the love shining out from the eyes you leave and come home too.
God’s way of saying He loves us.