While We Wait

Cadence and Me. July, 2011.


Our grandson comes early this morning to visit us. I’m waiting, waiting for his dad to drop him off. All I know is Friday morning. 
[It’s complicated, our family pruned and grafted: Cadence lives in Hawaii with his mommy, Rob-Daddy, and little brother. His father lives, as we do, in Southern California with Cadence’s step-mommy and little sister. Cadence, the big boy at age five, has flown to California with his auntie, uncle, and cousin. He’s here mostly to visit his father, but the grandparents get a turn, too. And our turn begins on Friday morning, after his father completes his graveyard shift and then drives Cadence from San Diego to our home ninety miles north.]
I stand in the shower and listen for the dogs’ chorus announcing arrivals at our door. I’m thinking, If I hear them I will grab my robe and race down the stairs, hair streaming wet. I won’t waste a second to dry myself first. No. I will greet him first. That’s the thing. To greet him when he comes.

I have a plan for their arrival. 
I’m toweling my hair, pulling on jeans, and the dogs remain quiet. I pad to the kitchen, measure flour, sugar, create blueberry muffins. I tuck them into the oven. I want him to feel welcome. I want him to see I was expecting him, ready for him. I want his father to know I’m grateful to him for bringing his son to us. 

My phone rests in my pocket. If there’s some message, a bit of advance notice, we don’t want to miss it. He’s coming. We’ve been waiting and waiting, and he’s coming. We’re ready. 

Gifts wait for later, tucked into a closet. Well yes, we chose gifts. We want him to see that we love him. We will offer him gifts.

I’m freeing muffins from the pan and brewing another pot of coffee and then I must sit down. Because I’m surveying all our preparation, our readiness, this waiting for him to arrive. This thought grabs me, squeezes the breath from me. So I sit to consider.
It’s not too much, this cleaning and baking and choosing and waiting, not too much at all. We’ve set our usual schedule aside. We’d happily do all this, and more, to welcome any of our grandchildren, any of our children, come to visit. Isn’t that how we love? Setting aside the ordinary, emptying out the everyday in anticipation of something better?

But now I am asking, Have we done it for Jesus?

42 “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. 43 But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. 44 For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”
Matthew 24:42-44 (NASB)