It’s that time.
Spring seems to have sprung. This week we’ve moved from last week’s cool mornings to dog breath humid by 5:00 AM.
Warmer weather brings more than budding flowers, mosquitos, and flip flops. Warmer weather wakes up the geckos.
I’m not a fan of geckos for one reason.
But this post is not about geckos.
The reason I’m not a fan of these little darlings is because my fourteen-year-old daughter is terrified of them.
But this post is not about my daughter.
I drop my daughter off at my mother’s house each morning so she can catch the school bus. Then I drive to work. Like everybody else, our morning routine is lackadaisical until one of us realizes we have two minutes to brush teethe, pack lunches, put on shoes, be in the car, and get it moving toward Mom’s.
And every warm day at Mom’s it happens.
Apparently, Mom’s front porch is a five-star gecko hang out. Truly on any warm day, one can find at least two geckos hanging out. I’ve seen as many as five at one time. The geckos make Mom’s front porch a great big problem.
Each morning, my daughter steps from the car while eyeballing the porch. I can see no dragons from my vantage point, but she swears she can see their eyes from the driveway. Each morning, she collects her backpack and laptop slowly, glancing back to the porch multiple times, as if waiting for an attack. Each morning, I hold my breath and opt not tell her to hurry. Each morning, she walks the few feet from the driveway to the porch as if she’s walking the green mile. Each morning, I still hold breath, glance at the clock and bite the sides of my mouth so I don’t yell something less than encouraging. Each morning, she reaches the edge of the porch. And stops. And looks. And takes deep breaths. And each morning I don’t honk. Not because I don’t want to bully. I don’t honk because I don’t want to wake up Mom who may still be sleeping inside oblivious to the fact that her home is under attack by an army of tiny geckos. And then finally each morning, my daughter steps up to the door, unlocks it, and walks inside to safety.
All of this feels like hours, when it’s probably even seconds short of a minute. But by the time this process is completed each morning, I feel rushed and flustered.
But this post is not about me.
Today, I remembered the beginning of the school year. I remembered how for weeks I walked my daughter to the door and unlocked it for her. As frustrated as I was to see my teenage daughter terrified of the tiny creatures, I recognized she was truly terrified. Even with me by her side, her steps were slow and timid. She remained watchful for the moment when her fears (of I don’t even know what) would come true. I couldn’t help but recognize what looked like ridiculous fear to me, was my daughter choosing to be brave. Each morning.
She’s bloomed in so many ways during our Winter months. Stepping out. Stepping up. And walking herself to the door- be it ever so slowly – but walking on her own- as I watch.
And today I watched with a smile.
See, this post is about Grace.
We’re all walking our own journey, but we’re called to live in community, hold each other accountable, and share each other’s burdens. Waiting on others to deal with their stuff is frustrating. Sometimes the reason it’s frustrating is because we’ve spent all our energy dealing with our own stuff. We don’t feel like we have anything left over to give to someone else. That’s when we need to remember Jesus first loved us, and offered us His grace before we were brave, or well, or smarter, or even good. Then If we remember our imperfections, and our own slow, timid steps to progress, it’s easier to patiently wait for others while they struggle to be brave, or well, or smarter, or even good.
I wonder, how many times God has wanted to honk at me for taking too long to hear His voice.
I wonder, how many people have bit the sides of their mouth waiting for me to wrap my mind around a truth. THE TRUTH. That I am loved by God and do not have to live in fear.
Offered to us.
And therefore, we offer it to others.
Because life is not the green mile. It’s a journey full of hope and challenges. It’s a journey with fellow travelers each carrying their own baggage, fears, failures and triumphs.
All of us are trying to find our way.
And here’s one more sweet truth:
Even though I don’t honk because I’m afraid Mom is sleeping, she usually isn’t. Most days she is waiting patiently with coffee, and a warm hug.
And she is eager to chat with my brave one once she opens the door.
How much more eager DAD must be for us to step inside, and walk in the Grace He has offered.
And He waits, patiently, with a smile, ready to chat, with the children He loves.