Last week I was sitting with a friend... just chatting away. The kids were all out back, playing... Eric had gone out to round them up, and they didn't even know I was there. But it was a good chance for my friend & I to make good use of five minutes to catch up! We knew our time was running short when the slider opened and the voices approached. And then all of a sudden... Dawn! My little red-headed friend had spotted me. He shouted my name, threw up his arms with glee, and raced into my outstretched arms for a hug. The smile... and the genuine joy on his little face... I cannot find the words to express how special I felt.
Usually, little ones reserve that excited welcome home hug for the Daddy... arriving home after being gone all day at work... or away on a Reserve weekend. Usually, the Mommy is not the one who has been away... and so the hellos we receive are a bit more subdued... laced with the same amount of love, of course... just not quite the same level of excitement. And now, my kids are quite settled in when I arrive home from work.. I may get a faint Hi Mom from the recesses of our home... or perhaps a moment of eye contact and a nod when one looks up from the story they are immersed in. It is not that the love is not present... just that after years and years the mystery is no longer... they simply know that I will walk in the door and life will carry on as they know it. It is not bad... it just is.
When I greet my own Mom... it is special... it is not an everyday occurance. We save our hug for last... and once our arms are folded around each other, we just soak in our love for each other... just let it seep right into our very beings... and not let go. Special, yes. Filled with childlike joy? We are past that... I think.
This joyful welcome has been on my mind all week. It has spun around my heart... flipped back and forth in my brain... and then it hit my very soul. Who else on this earth would welcome me like this? With such love, and glee and abandon? As if I had been lost, then suddenly found? Perhaps this red-headed little friend has given me a glimpse of what is to come... hopefully many, many, many years from now. Perhaps his joyful welcome is a just a tiny glimpse of what is to come... when the One who has given us life welcomes me home.