the gift of now

I remember the day.

Three little girls and a baby.  Eyes tracing dusty ground, heads heavy with shame, hearts heavy with grief.  Mama went away. The story comes through tears.  Mama hurt too much so she didn’t want to live anymore.

I listen.  Jostle an infant version of this sweet face above listening to the swirl of pain and of course we invite them in.  You are not orphans.  You are now home.  Welcome in my new daughters.

Three weeks pass with no sleep.  Littlest one screams cries that would curdle milk and everything else.  All night. Every night.  I jostle.  I rock.  I pray.  I bless.  I sing.  I cuddle.  I cry too.  Love is patient.  Love waits.  Love perseveres.  Love looses sleep.

Slowly curses from generations past begin to fall off, quietly freedom begins to dawn.  I am too tired to notice until it has happened.  And then, THEN, four months turn into four years over night.

HOW did THAT happen?  My sweet baby girl is no longer a baby.  She counts and climbs, dances and dreams.  She races headlong across uneven ground to grab my hand and sing me songs as we stroll through paths in elephant grass taller than the both of us put together.

I am learning.  NOW is a gift.  And the only way to receive this present, it to BECOME fully present to its wonder.

I don’t want to miss one gift of one moment.  Not one butterfly chase, not one constellation, not one smile, not one tear.

Time is slipping into forever.  Despite our best efforts to capture it in scrapbooks, chronicle it journals, stave off its effects on faces, control it in planners, make up for its past misappropriations, live it before it is…

The only way to truly redeem time is to be fully present to His gift of a moment called now.

Jesus somehow said it best.  Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself. (Mt 6:34)  And in the meanwhile my four year olds will only be four for today.  Five is coming all too soon.  Being four is too precious to miss.


(this post is linked in to a broader community talking about these things)