Being after 11:00 p.m. our little sweethearts couldn’t walk well through the last leg of the airport halls. One was limping and one was shuffling her feet next to me. My husband and I both picked up each into our arms and carried them into the parking lot. It felt like I began to take on their sight at that moment– noticing for the first time the hundreds of shining cars, bright lights, and lots of traffic on the highway nearby. The chilly air whipped and swirled around our bodies as we hoisted them into our super sized van.
We stopped for a potty stop at the nearest gas station. I pictured the scenario of changing the girls into their jammies before making the three hour drive home. The bathroom wasn’t as grimy or terrible as I had imagined. I felt so sorry to be a stranger and having to unwrap their layers of clothes. They didn’t seem to mind. I was so grateful for our oldest daughters’ helpfulness, they received the coats, mittens, hats, sweaters, shirts, skirt, tights, t-shirts, pants, and socks. Their once bundled bodies now were clothed with a loose soft fleece. We were told at our hosting training that kids coming overseas with the program sometimes get car sick. Thankfully, the ride home in the dark was peaceful except for an occasional whimper; everyone zonked out in the rows behind– some with their mouths gaping open.
On the mornings that followed, I watched the girls flit from one toy and book to another. There were squeals and gasps over things that sat motionless and untouched in our toy bins for weeks. Their hands slid over things that I took for granted. The shower, the toilet, the stuffed animals that sat on their beds– it all was almost magical to them. Every morning we shared seemed to be like Christmas. I could feel that familiar feeling, the one that physically expanded and stretched my heart when Joshua entered our lives just four years ago. It’s not a feeling that you can plan for or anticipate. Instead of the stretch marks on my belly from a growing infant– they were stretch marks on my heart. It felt more full than ever before and bubbled over into joy.
I wondered if that’s how God feels when His children enter into heaven. I wonder if we’ll respond the same way– with squeals and gasps over all the things that He has made for us. A city of pure gold and its foundations decorated of every kind of precious stone– jasper, sapphire, agate, emerald, onyx, ruby, crysolite, beryl, topaz, turquoise, jacinth, and amethyst will undoubtedly take our breaths away. Not to mention, gates crafted from single pearls, streets of the city created of gold, and as transparent as glass. (Rev. 21:18-21 ) I think everyday will feel like Christmas and overwhelm us. And then there’s God our Father– will He feel even more joy than I did when we welcomed the girls into our home? Oh yes and I cannot even imagine being loved that much…