This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike “What’s next, Papa?” God’s Spirit touches our spirits and confirms who we really are. We know who he is, and we know who we are: Father and children. And we know we are going to get what’s coming to us—an unbelievable inheritance! We go through exactly what Christ goes through. If we go through the hard times with him, then we’re certainly going to go through the good times with him! That’s why I don’t think there’s any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times. The created world itself can hardly wait for what’s coming next.
-Romans 8:15-20 (The Message)
I see a little girl… long, brown braids hanging down her back, standing with her wee face upturned… She’s looking intently into the blue sky above. Her freckled, nose all scrunched up, and brown eyes squinting against the brilliance of the sun… searching every drifting white cloud. Wonder and awe in every fiber of her, as small dimpled hands are clasped behind her back in earnest determination to wait something out. The pink toes of bare, little feet wriggle impatiently in the tall, green grass, as she hops from one foot to the other and back again in anticipation of something amazing.
She is waiting for her “daddy,” her Abba Father, to come back. He’s been gone so long. She knows His home is heaven, but is anxiously looking for Him anyway. She misses Him, longs for His embrace, His hand in hers and the looks in His loving eyes; as they talk about how she’s been and what she’s been doing in His absence. She’s determined… not to miss His arrival.
Oh, the days go by. She now lays in the grass, with her chubby arms behind her head. Her short legs crossed, toes still wiggling. And soon her eyes are closed, as she dreams of Him. Still remembering the warm embrace and the love He left her with. He promised to come back, one day, and take her to the new home He was making for her.
Her Daddy asked her to watch for Him, and said that He’d come in the clouds. And… so she did, faithfully for years. Then she became a bit older. Distractions came and went. Every now and then, she’d look up and remember those little girl days. And she’d clasp her fingers, with nails painted some bright shade of pink, behind her teenage back. She’d look up and wonder, did He mean to keep His promise? The sky was still blue, but grey clouds had rolled in, and life here was more complicated and distracting every day. She loved her Daddy, but others had come and gone from her life. There was school and homework and relationships, and the wee little girl was was no longer wee, nearly an adult and juggling a lot of life. She heard His voice once in a while, but was not sure if it was even Him sometimes. This place she lived had become painful and even dark at times. But… then she’d go outside, when life hurt and lay in the grass and remember, Abba Daddy. Tears and longing would touch her heart, as she’d remember His loving embrace. She’d close her eyes, under the blue sky… and for just a little while, all was well… the grey clouds would disappear.
Then she awoke, more years had gone by. She’d married the love of her life, feeling so blessed by this gift her Daddy had given her. The days still had distractions, bills and jobs and other grown up responsibilities ran in and out their doors. But there were days she’d share her longing with her beloved best friend. And she take him by the hand, kick off her shoes and stand in the green grass. They’d look up into the blue in anticipation of His arrival together. And for a moment, they’d close their eyes together and dream, aw… peace. She’d share the memories of His warm embrace and he’d catch the joy of her wonder. Then they would opened their eyes. A few more years had passed.
They had children of there own. And life was filled with, great love, busy babes, responsibilities and cares. They needed so much. But there were moments, as they grew that she’d take them all out into the grass and they’d all look up, and she’d share the wonder of a heavenly Daddy. She’d whisper her love, and wonder… how much longer. All those dimpled baby hands and crazy curls, reminded her to keep her anticipation childlike.
They closed their eyes now as a family of six, only to open them to the whispers of heaven. Everyone was older, once wee babes were all nearly adults… and her beloved best friend took her hand more often to go stand in the grass and look up into the heavenly blue. And Heaven whispered… again. We closed our eyes to savor the beauty in the anticipation… remembering the childlike wonder. And when we opened them, heaven was just a step away… for my beloved one. He shared its glorious peace and left me there… standing in the green grass, longing for the blue to wrap me in its arms as well. And I was reminded of the anticipation and desire, and that wee little girl with braids and freckles… many years ago.
So, I stand here now eagerly awaiting the arrival of my Daddy… who holds my beloved gift, my best friend. And when the winter of my heart melts and the blades of green poke through the ground… I will stand there again. Wondering, waiting, hoping and anticipating the embrace of my Abba Daddy and the reunion with my best friend. Toes wiggling, hands clasped behind my back, eyes squinting and nose scrunched up… a child again in my heart longing for my Daddy… and my someday home.