It’s Valentine’s Day. I’ve just dropped off 27 hand-rolled, heart-shaped cookies (made with real butter ’cause we don’t mess around), frosted and topped with sprinkles. Behind me, a batch-of-hot-worms, roiling, lively fifth-grade class is celebrating the occasion. Rows of molars are attacking those cookies, and I’m walking down the hall when He speaks.
“There goes My girl, spreading joy wherever she goes.” It’s Papa.
My boots, they scuff over industrial carpet, past all those bulletin boards. Cupid, Day of Love, Day of Hearts, Valentine’s, yet all at once, my eyes want to leak. And this is what comes out. “I wish I could hear that in person.”
Scuff, scuff. Swish, swish. My coat is warm, my keys are in hand, and there’s an ache somewhere close to my heart.
“I’m tired of having faith.” I say it out loud as I’m backing and turning and leaving. “Faith’s hard.” I am feeling the need for my Dad, He Almighty.
In recent years, I have learned firsthand how very respectful and humble God is. Yes, I do mean that. In days and weeks and months of questioning and wrestling and fighting with Him, He’s never once ever scolded. Never chided or rebuked. He’s taken it all and stuck with me.
How respectful. What a Gentleman. And humble, beyond that. What a surprise to learn of His humility; how He takes blame and rejection, yet stoops way down low. Not rejecting or blaming in return. Grace, amazing!
So back to yesterday and the words that slipped up from down deep. “Faith is hard. I am tired.”
In thinking over this today, it’s not really that faith is so hard. I believe what I was actually feeling is this, “It’s hard to wait!” Ah, yes. Now that resonates in my ears.
When our son was overseas in lands far, far away, how we missed him. Our faith was strong, our hope was secure that one day, we would embrace him. In the flesh. But there were days when we–well, we ached. It was hard not to touch him. To kiss his whiskered cheek. We just simply wanted to see him, flesh and blood.
And that’s how it is with our God. We believe, we have faith, but we ache for the seeing. We ache to hear and to touch.
Now, today. I’m waiting at the front door. The Cub, looking for all the world like a cardinal at the end of my lane, suddenly diverts from his bus-watching post. And at once, I see where he’s headed. In the snow some yards out, there’s a slash of bright pink. He bends down to get it and trudges for the door where I’m watching.
In his warm, not-gloved hand, he carries three pieces of mail that are wet, having lain in the snow. I can guess what has happened. They’d slipped out of his eager-to-help hands one day after school and dropped, all unseen, to the ground. Until today.
FacebookTwitterGoogle+DiggPinterestBloggerGingerly, I take them from him, three envelopes that are wet, dotted with gravel. To my surprise, the bright pink one’s addressed to me, and I well know the name that’s top, left. Just inside the envelope, a hand-painted heart on textured paper, a beautiful gift from a girl way out West. And from above.
Then a knock at the door. At my feet, a brown box. I take it in, slice it open and–books! With a card that’s handwritten, love flowing in cursive and ink. Ah, my heart.
That box? It was supposed to come two days ago, but it didn’t. It came today in response to that ache. Papa’s watching. This, I know. And He’s smiling. I know that, too.
For the one who’s reading this and feeling that ache, I’m asking God to send you your own Valentine. Your own confirmation of His love, of His watching. He has you engraved on His palms, and He cares.
As we wait in faith, you and I, we know that the ache’s only temporary. It won’t last forever, and one day, our faith shall be sight. Until then!