I was in the produce section checking the ripeness of some avocados when my phone lit up. It was Grace, calling to tell me that Harper wanted to “talk to Emzee on the computer.”
“I’m at the grocery store,” I said, my emotions a mixture of deep joy (Harper was asking for me!) and genuine disappointment. Given the physical distance between us, I treasure every moment of face time I can get.
“Okay. We’ll do it later,” Grace said. “But I’ll let you talk to her on the phone now.”
It’s hard enough to follow the jabbering of a two year old in person. Add store noise and the unreliability of a cell phone connection, and any kind of real conversation is next to impossible. But I did manage to catch some of it. For one thing, I understood that she wanted me to buy her some bagels. I was, after all, at the store.
I tried to explain the teensy little Texas-to-Seattle problem, but she was undaunted. As far as she was concerned, she could hear my voice, so I was close by.
Then later that evening, when we reconnected by Skype, the distance vanished completely. She could see us. We were right there in the room.
When we told Harper we’ll be coming soon for a visit, she squirmed to get out of Grace’s lap — to let us in the door.
Because, when you’re two, a promise uttered is a good as done.
I’ve heard a lot of sermons about what Jesus meant when He told us we must become like little children, and I suppose there’s more than one beautiful truth hidden in that statement. But today, for me, the meaning is clear.
Harper doesn’t question her Emzee’s accessibility. If she wants to call or send an email or talk on the computer, of course her Emzee will be there. And if Emzee says she’s coming soon, then what are we waiting for? Someone needs to open the door.
And didn’t my Jesus also say He was coming soon, that He was already at the door? And He tells me again and again that He loves to hear my voice, even though He already knows what’s best for me, and my finest attempts at prayer must sound like so much jabbering. He doesn’t delight in me because I’ve got my theological ducks in a row or my supplications flow smooth like honey. It’s not complicated. Jesus wants to clap with me over my joys and to comfort me when I’m hurt or afraid.
He wants me to call on Him because I love Him and His nearness is my good. He wants my heart.
The day is coming (oh, how soon!) when I’ll have unlimited face time with Jesus, all questions answered, communion uninterrupted. But right now, in these dimly lit mirror days, I need to remember the static is all on my side. From His end, the connection is perfectly clear. I can live like a beloved child today, fully trusting, because I’m fully known, never questioning His accessibility, because I know He’s always close by. When I call? Of course He will answer.
Childlike faith is joyfully present and unshakably sure. A baby due in October will be here in a “couple of days,” and a promise uttered is as good as done. Sound like Heaven on earth? According to Jesus, it is.
The Kingdom of Heaven isn’t so very far off after all.
It’s only from here to the door.
* * *
Giving thanks in community for (#460 – 473)
the hope of real face time soon
Harper’s sweet, enthusiastic voice
her baby sister!
the joy of praying for hidden, blossoming, already-but-not-yet life
every day written in His book
hearing God’s Word preached with power
Miguel cooking for us:
Hawaiian pork of awesomeness, piped garlic potatoes, and broccoli with cumin
stories, laughter, and sparkling wine
Naomi’s first steps
Luke and Sarah’s little house
every breath, grace