Saturday, July 10, 2010
The Waving Window
Our little bodies pressed close together, facing backward on the couch with the big blue flowers. It was the perfect perch for glimpsing the coming and going of family and friends through the living room window. If Daddy was leaving for work, we piled onto the couch -- my brother, my sister and I -- and waved. If our dinner guests were heading home, we piled onto the couch -- my brother, my sister and I -- and waved. If our out-of-town family was almost here, we piled onto the couch -- my brother, my sister and I -- and breathlessly waited until we caught a glimpse of that car. And then we wildly waved.
Because that's what family is for. Family is for wild welcomes and fond farewells. Family waves hello, "It wasn't the same without you!" And family waves goodbye, "It won't be the same without you!" And you know that you are loved.
When we moved, we found the new waving window -- my brother, my sister and I. It was still perfectly situated in the living room, facing the street. We welcomed and bid adieu with abandon.
When we moved again, we found that the waving window was as reliable as ever -- in the living room, facing the street. But this time, we found that we were the ones coming and going. We stood as teens and young adults alongside our parents, no longer wee ones kneeling on the couch, and sent each other off. The waving window was now the portal through which we watched each other grow.
Eventually that window framed the coming and going of new family members. Dad and Mom welcomed and said goodbye to their children and grandchildren, waving until each one was out of sight. The little ones learned that the waving window is a glorious thing and bounced on the chairs next to Papa and Noni, eager to welcome cousins and aunts and uncles.
This morning I gathered the children and we stood in our own waving window. It's in the living room, facing the street. We waved goodbye to Daddy, excited that we would be seeing him again very soon.
But the window wasn't enough for Little Miss Avery Kate. She burst out the front door and ran down to the sidewalk. The window wasn't enough for Daddy, either. He stuck out his hand as he drove away, waving to Miss Kate until he was out of sight.
Do you remember the story of the Prodigal Son? I think of the Father. The window wasn't enough. He raced beyond, eager to welcome his child. He joyously wept, "It wasn't the same without you!" Because that's what family is for, and that is what the Father has done. It doesn't matter where a child goes or for how long he is gone. There will always be Someone at the window, the Someone who reached beyond. And because of this, we can be sure that one day we will experience only the wild welcomes. Goodbyes will be a thing of the past.