“One must wait till evening to see how lovely the day has been.” It is 6:30 in the morning Pacific Time and I’ve just had an evening moment.
Funny, isn’t it, how one innocent little movement can unexpectedly stir one’s soul into awakeness and awareness. This morning it was the pool skimmer that did it and this quote I read recently flooded over me and ran down my cheeks. Though my eyes, filled as they were with tears could not see, I suddenly saw many things my heart had not noticed in the heat of the day. We’re back in Redding for our daughter’s wedding and we are staying at a guest house built by the new owners on the property we once knew as home.
We’ve been back numerous times as the new owners are dear friends. The kind of friends with whom one takes great risks as hearts, by the Spirit, choose trust over legal documents in the buying and selling of home. Coming back has never been difficult for me and last night as we left the big house to walk out to the little house they have so lovingly built here to house guests I made the comment that living here seems like a long-ago dream. Like something I thought of once but I’m not sure ever really happened. It is a dream house on a dream property in a dream location and somehow ‘dream’ is all I felt.
Then this morning, coffee cup in hand, I walked out into the lush paradise of the back yard. Noticing the normal bits of leaves and pollen on the pool surface I automatically did what I used to do each morning, that is grab the pool skimmer and begin to clean the surface. That’s when the salt-water rain began. The tears I’d not shed for the past two years could be contained no longer and I skimmed and I remembered and I wept. The sudden awareness washed over me that I’d never really said a proper ‘goodbye’ to home. In the final weeks of our packing to move in early 2016, our little grandson Eli James, a three-week old at the time, became suddenly quite ill and this grandma was needed in Colorado. Thoughts of Eli consumed our days and the actual packing up and moving is but a blur. From Colorado to Ireland to California to Colorado to Ireland to Colorado – back and forth for two years in a near constant flurry of motion. Why? As Steven Curtis Chapman sings in a not-not-so-new song, “We will abandon it all for the sake of the call.” Has it been worth it? YES. Would I do it again if that’s what it took? YES. For the sake of the call but for the love of the Savior I say “YES” ever and always.
Has it been worth it? Eli is now 18 months old and as healthy and funny and active as an 18 month old boy should be. We live ten minutes from he and his siblings, our son and daughther-in-law and within two hours of each of our grown children. Worth it? Worth more than gold.
Has it been worth it? Last night as we sat in the living room of the big house we recalled evenings a number of years ago when a group of friends, many of them students from Ireland and Northern Ireland, came to our house to pray for an assignment the Lord had given: To see His Kingdom come in a town called Drogheda on the eastern coast in Ireland. We prayed, we worshipped, we cried out for the Lord to have mercy on this town which none of us had ever seen. We obediently did all we heard Holy Spirit ask of us, then Jim and I took a team to Drogheda to worship and prayer walk and bless. Again, having done all we knew to do, we left there trusting Jesus to do all He promised:
This past Friday, the day before we left to drive to Redding, we received a skype call from friends who live near Drogheda. They called to tell us that in the past months over 300 people have given their lives to Jesus – in Drogheda! That a church there is alive and growing and preparing people to go to the nations with the gospel – that the Kingdom is, indeed, coming in power and Presence to this town so far away from both Redding and Colorado Springs, the places we have known as home in the intervening years.
This morning my tears are watering the grief and reality of what we once had and no longer own, softening the blow of letting go once and for all. But mingled in are tears of gratitude and worship that the One who loves us most is so very good. So faithful. So longing for people everywhere to come home.
Sometimes, one must wait till evening to see how lovely the day has been. It has been a lovely day, indeed.