Saturday, November 17, 2012


The room is a mess of loud children, streamers, art projects and birthday cake. The weather is cold and the wind fierce enough to drive everyone inside for the day.

I can see him wandering in the sea of legs and balloons. I'm watching him, every step he takes, but he doesn't know it. He's bound and determined to get to the balloon he wants--the orange one. He's scared and timid to be among so many strangers, but the temptation to have what he wants overcomes the fear of the unknown.

His little blond head is bobbing up and down, in between jeans and winter coats and metal chairs. I can tell his confidence wavers momentarily as he looks up at all those who are bigger than him. But he's on a mission and nothing is going to stop him.

He's so lost in catching the orange one that he gets farther away then he intended. He's only 40 feet away, but to a toddler, it might as well be a million miles. I see him finally reach what he's been chasing after. He bends down to grab the balloon, looking furiously over each shoulder to make sure nobody else was going to dare steal it away from him.

As he realizes that his prized possession is in his hands, he turns with a victorious grin to share his triumph with me. And even though I can still see him, he can't see me. I can see the panic rise up in his eyes--if I could hear his heartbeat, I know it would be racing.

He looks frantically in every direction, searching the crowd to find a familiar face. I see the grin start to crumble and know that in a matter of seconds, there's going to be tears. He starts walking through the crowd, his steps quickening with every movement. He holds the balloon close, a lifeline to something familiar and good. As the tears start sliding down his cheeks, I stand quickly to go to him, catching his attention. My heart breaks for him as I recognize the feeling of being lost, if only for a moment.

His eyes meet mine and everything inside him relaxes and knows that he has found home. My heart quickens at the thought that I am his person. I am the person that makes him feel warm and safe. He runs to close the distance between us and lets me lift him into my arms. I treasure the few seconds that he is still and holding me as tightly as I'm holding him.

It doesn't last long.

After a few moments, he's begging to be let down and ready to explore again.

And the prayer of my heart becomes one that God himself prays for me--that I will always be home to my children. That they will always know I am a constant and steady presence in their life and that even if they venture away from home, I WILL be here waiting for them, my heart beating in anticipation of their arrival.

Jeremiah 24:7-I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.


Kansas Hobbs' said...

You make grandma's, mom's and English teachers smile and cry at the same time! Great the title.

Kansas Hobbs' said...

Ouch...take out the apostrophes!