It was Mikey's birthday on Thursday. My oldest grandson. Eight years old! Where have those years flown!
I arrived home way too late to drop in before bedtime, so I made a date for breakfast the following morning. His love language is "quality time" so I knew that would be something more meaningful to him than had I just been a face in the crowd of celebrants the evening before, and so was relieved of any guilt. I told his mom to let him know I would pick him up at 7:00 and then drop him off at school later, on my way to work.
I was running a bit late when the phone rang at 7:05. I was ready with my apologies. "Sorry I'm late, Mikey. I'm almost ready! I'll be right there!"
The line went quiet and I immediately thought that I had hurt his feelings by being late. I gushed reassurances. "I'm just combing my hair and then I'm going right out the door. I promise!"
"But I wanted to walk in the fog." His voice was so quiet that if I wasn't listening very hard, and if I didn't know him so well, I would have missed those critically important words entirely. Suddenly the light went on and I was instantly in the world of a child again. Of course he wanted to know what it felt like to walk through a cloud!
I rushed through the last few things I needed to do to be ready and ran out the door. I didn't want to miss this golden moment. I positioned myself in the middle of our laneway right by the lilac bushes. I was just in time to see the light go on at the back steps of the house next door and a small figure exit into the fog. He came across the dew drenched grass towards me, his backpack, the straps needing adjustment, bounced up and down as he ran. I bent my knees into a crouch so I would be just at his height. I could see his smile clearly long before he reached me, and I'm sure I was smiling just as brightly. I held out my arms and was nearly bowled over as he ran right into them. Just like a scene out of some sappy movie! I tousled those beloved golden curls - I can never resist - and we were off to McDonald's. His choice.
It was a small moment. But as wonderful as any I've lived to this point.
As I ponder the memory of that moment of anticipation, culminating in a full blown embrace in the fog shrouded world, I find myself wondering if that's how Father-God feels about me - about each one of us - when we are getting ourselves ready to come apart from the busyness of our lives to step into his presence and spend a few moments with "just Him" each day. There's a lot in that analogy. Running toward Him in the fog, our burdens bouncing along on our backs... soon to be lifted by gentle hands as we plunge into his embrace...
Ahhhhhh. Could there be any better way to start the day?