I had a rather lovely, lengthy conversation with one of my aunts recently. I told her that when I was single and had less responsibilities, I would sometimes make impromptu visits to Grandma’s after my night shift of sitting with an elderly woman. Though Grandma was usually awake, she wasn’t always in her kitchen so she couldn’t hear me knocking on the door. I walked around the back of her little house and threw small rocks at her bedroom window until I got her attention. When she peered out she’d say, “Oh! Christi!” She’d scurry away to unlock the door for me.
“I bet you really appreciated that time with her,” my aunt said.
“You know, Christi, I always say one of the best gifts my grandparents ever gave me was to live long enough for me to learn to appreciate them.”
What a statement! Got me to thinking about another closely related statement: What you don’t appreciate leaves. That is quite a sobering thought. Tie that to a statement a friend of mine had learned through classes she’s been taking: Everything we do moves us closer to connection or separation. Think about that. Really, really think about that.
What are we choosing today? Are we making that phone call, writing that card, sending that text? Is our embrace tighter? Are our words giving life? Are our actions showing love?
And are we appreciating our loved ones? Do we realize that what we don’t cherish we risk losing? And if we’re remiss with those we can see, how are we treating the One that we can’t see? Ah, that one might have hurt a little.
Jesus said He stands at the doors and knocks. If we hear His voice and open the door, He will come in and eat with us as a friend. (Revelation 3:20)
There I was, throwing rocks at Grandma’s window. When she saw that it was me, a big smile creased her face and she opened her door to me. We then shared sweet communion at her table. Those are some of my most treasured memories.
Are we letting Jesus in the way Grandma let me in? Better yet, are we waiting for Him to knock or are we throwing the door open and calling to Him, “Jesus! I miss You! Let’s talk! Come in and sit Yourself down for a while!”
That’s a greeting. Imagine your arrival being so anticipated that you don’t even have a chance to knock!
When the girls were younger and I’d hear Bob’s truck, I’d yell, “Girls! Your daddy’s home from work!”
He grinned while we scrambled and mock fought over who got to hug him first.
We need to do our best to make our loved ones feel that way. More importantly, we need to realize that this is how God feels about us all of the time. He’s excited to fellowship with us. He is. Adam is proof of that. He didn’t need to plant a man in His garden, but He did. Why? Because He wanted fellowship. He wanted to stroll around in the cool of the evening and discuss His creation with the crowing jewel of His creation. Isn’t that something? Pay attention: He did not sit and talk to the tree. He did not chat with the monkey. He was in fellowship with the man. Do you think His desire is any less toward us now? No. As with Adam, He knows we need Him more than we’ll ever realize or confess.
There is a troubling account about the knocking at another door in the Song of Solomon, Chapter 5. The Beloved knocks at the Shulamite’s door but she is not inclined to jump out of bed and open the door. For one, she has taken off her dress and is not presentable. For two, she has washed her feet and does not want to dirty them by going to him.
Boy, do I relate to this! I don’t know a married woman who doesn’t. All snug in my blankets, sweet slumber coming to me or perhaps I am sound asleep when — BAM! Bob rolls against me. I don’t need his roaming hands to confirm what I think he wants but he throws them in for good measure. I confess to grumbling. I confess to being a resistant participant. I confess to flat out refusal. What I rarely confess to is, like the Shulamite, my (sometimes) sorrow at missing that window of opportunity for union with my husband. It took her too long to go to the door; the Beloved had gone. Isn’t it the same with us? How often have we missed spending precious moments with the loved ones we do see and the One that we do not?
Join me today in appreciating our loved ones and making conscientious decisions that move us closer to connection. Beyond that, let’s not wait for God to knock, but let’s throw open the door and call to Him and invite Him in.
May we fall in love all over again…and may today be that day.
I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine:… Song of Solomon 6:3 KJV