The Man sneaks in the back door with his beard missing and I laugh out loud because this life here has just stolen his most prized bodily possession. He was made to forfeit his red whiskers for the sake of the warehouse and I laugh because I’ve not seen his face since 2005. His skin is like that of a baby and my own baby does not recognize her daddy.
“Where your beard go?” she asks him while poking a fork into her waffles and eggs. He smiles at her and she barely looks at his face.
“It’ll grow back in a few days,” he tells her. “It’ll grow back by Sunday.”
I smile and he smiles and the kids giggle at the bare-faced man sitting at the end of the table.
And we all glow in the sheer joy of the moment and the syrupy sweetness of waffles and in the goodness of God.
The kids scatter upstairs to play a rousing game of Monkey in the Middle while the Man and I linger at the table.
“They streamed the service online today at lunchtime,” I say. “I watched it while I fed Heidi.”
He cuts into a link of sausage and nods.
“Funny thing happened today, by the way,” I say while he chews. “You remember the guy I was talking with you about over the weekend? The one I mentioned after The Butler? A friend messaged me today and his name came up. He has some ministry at that church where those kids were shot last night.”
I pause, mid-story, to let him catch up with me.
His eyes widen and I know he’s following me, his thoughts matching my words.
“I know,” I say. “It’s no coincidence I saw him last week. I’ve not seen him in nearly 20 years and you’re not going to believe this. He’s got a heart for racial reconciliation and for prayer and for walls-free churches.”
He looks at me and puts his fork down.
“And he’s a black guy, right?” he asks.
I smile and nod.
“Yep,” I say. “And in high school he preached the Word and he was mighty loved. His church is in our back yard. We should have him over for dinner.”
The Man’s eyes meet mine. We smile because we know this is the way God connects the dots for us.
And we smile because we’ve learned the art of waiting on the Lord.
And we smile because we can see Him moving in the most un-expectant of ways.
Tonight, the snow blows in sideways and I watch it while standing in the front window. It’s like sugar crystals in its shimmer and baby powder in its weightlessness and I press my head into the glass, blinking my eyes to see.
With a tilt of my head, I lean in again and the whole world tilts with my gaze.
One lone car rolls down the center of Avent and its light beams illuminate flecks of white and I’m struck with the wonder of my life here.
I’m struck with wonder because I didn’t choose it, nor did I want it.
For my good and for His glory.
Snow whips against the window and cold seeps through the glass and life beats hard into my chest.
And where heaviness tries to settle, the Holy Spirit blows across even harder.
I smile into white darkness and my eyes settle on the shimmer of Light,
And I am lit up, from the inside out.
This is home.
This week, I’m linking my post with Jennifer Dukes Lee at her Tell His Story link up! This is a group of storytellers that simply write to tell the story of Jesus in their lives. First link up here! So if you’re snowed in, please swing on by and spend your afternoon reading away. You’ll be glad you did.