This morning I woke up with contentment that a vacation week brings. Vacation isn't a big chaotic event for us this year. Instead, it is an investing time, a connecting time--or in our case, a RE-connecting time. Busy bodies and chaotic minds have kept us apart, but not this week. This week we connect. We value each other. We declare, "You are important and worth the effort. Let me put everything aside but you."
My heart breaths deeply, and joy flows out as children's laughter bubbles forth, art projects look for places to show off, family is made into team to solve problems. Smiles of anticipation with the glances at the calendar's words of friends and fun.
Ah, yes, vacation...contentment...the wonder of being valued...
Then someone took an ugly marker and drowned my plans in graffitti saying, "We can't...something more important..."
But this is a week of being most important...
And now, where plans had brought joy to a child's heart, I had to give news that would break it.
This was the makeup party for his birthday that was hidden under blankets as he fought the flu. This is the person he considers "my only boy friend". Now, the celebration is heart ache as his "only friend" sits in a moving van headed away. He is brave, with only one question: "Can I still email him?" I smile. Of course. He is content.
I am not. I fight the mist that blurs this amazing boy in front of me, and my heart sobs with the unfairness...unfair to him...unfair to me... And I have a myriad of questions.
Why now? Why this boy? Why...? I stop. Do I dare ask these questions? Are they too real? Too raw? Do I have the courage? Sometimes the heart cares nothing for courage.
The questions tumble on their own.
Why have you not provided him with another friend? Why have you not answered my prayers? Why isn't this important to you? Do you not care?
Sometimes the heart cares nothing for courage. Sometimes it asks out of fear, and I am afraid this is far more important to a nine year old than an eternal God.
And my heart cries.
But I blink my misty eyes and ask if everyone is ready to go to pizza and game place we had on the calendar for today. A boisterous, "YES!" resounds through our home. And off we go.
Children with cups of tokens in hand wonder from game to game. For awhile I wander with them. Then I sit, watching the miracles entrusted to me, aching...wondering.
My head and thoughts jerk to the man in the booth in front of me.
"Have you ordered your pizza yet?"
The tokens were a stash from last year. Pizza wasn't really in the budget, but fun is be free.
I shake my head in response.
"Uh, we aren't going to eat all of ours. Would you take what we have left?"
Suddenly, this man has my rapt attention. "I'm sorry?"
He repeats himself while holding out a pan with enough pizza on it for all of us. "We can't eat this, and there's no reason for it to go to waste. Would you take it? I know your children are going to get hungry. They can have this." I stare at the pizza. It is the exact pizza they like.
I think how very "uncouth" it is to take pizza from a stranger in a pizza play place. It is not the acceptable thing to do. People would think it odd, but then, some would think it odd that hear voices...like the one whispering, "If I care enough and have power enough to move the heart of a stranger to provide the perfect pizza for your children, don't you think I care enough and have the ability to provide the perfect friend?"
I blink back the mist and smile at the man holding the pizza. I reach for the pan of provision and promise and, "Thank you. We'd love a peace."
Copyright Jerri Phillips 2009