Like we didn't know

Like we didn't know

One night we went to the park. We lolloped about and the girls screamed on the spinner while Joel grumbled about their volume. They were using it all wrong — lying on the top, pushing and pulling each other. They are too big for it. But they didn’t know. Then one of them started counting and we all scattered — like we didn’t know we were too old for it. 

“Ready or not, here I come!!” rang out. 

Hannah nearly peed her pants in panic and laughter when I put her in a huge empty planter they hadn’t filled yet. I nearly did too. “Get down!!” We all giggled and Adele finished counting and saw three of us immediately. 

And, as usual (when did this become usual?), we couldn’t find Joel. He is always the last one found, always the cleverest, quietest hider. We found him and I got to count. 

All over again, I spotted a tie-dyed sweater in that bush, a bum sticking out from over there. And Maddie not even trying for the sheer joy of following me around and soaking in the fun. 

Finally, inexplicably, there was Joel, breaking his own rules and galloping across the park in plain sight. We ran hard and laughed harder as we converged from all corners to chase him. 

And for a moment, a heaving, laughing moment, I forgot all the heaviness. The emptying accounts, the silence of phones, the ghosted messages, the shame of unemployment, the endless (will it end?) wait. 

The wind whipped and we took several full bladders home in the cold blanket of an evening spring sunset. 

And still, we wait.

We’re all waiting, aren’t we though? Waiting for the dawn, the reunions, the sight of heaven, and the tender awe of Him — face to face. It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? For thousands of years and billions of tears — silence. “How long, oh Lord?” How long? 

There are sudden storms, but there are long storms too. They continue in the background of life. The waiting, watching, worrying times of life that drain us and drag us back to the throne. “How long, oh Lord?” we cry. But there’s a preciousness to it too, isn’t there? When no answers come, no resolution, no trumpet from heaven, but the calm steady presence that is uniquely ours in trial: “I will never leave you.” 

Even as we wait in the fire that will purge us but never destroy us. Satan means it all for terrible ill, we know. We feel it. It’s hard to know the difference in the dark. But this is our assurance. Our victory. Our hope in the dark — our faith. 

How can we not overcome if He has already overcome ahead of us? And if He overcame, then we know that every moment, every aching dark moment of suffering is deeply, eternally worth it. There will be enough joy in my little finger to light a world alive (to paraphrase C.S. Lewis) on that day. And we’ll all know together, as one shining bride — that everything we lived through, everything we endured, every moment we carried on in silence was funneled fully into who and where and what we’ll be for eternity. 

We’ll know, like we didn’t know we were too old for it, the laughter of faith forever.