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“Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells” (Psalm 26:8).
In December, we took our grandson out to see The Lights of Christmas at Warm Beach. Gage slept the whole way out there, so he was a little groggy and unimpressed when we woke him in the parking lot and eased him out of his car seat.
“I want to go home,” was his first statement, despite the brilliance of a million colored lights dangling from trees all around him.
“But they have cocoa … and donuts!” I said.
He begrudgingly allowed us to buy him both, and took polite sips and bites. He nodded and made “Uh, huh” noises when I pointed out the mountain made of lights, and the waterfall made of lights, and the lawn and trees and buildings strewn with lights, and the lights, lights, lights.
“I want to go home,” he said, when we offered him a ride on the train.
“I want to go home,” he said again, when we offered him a ride on a pony.
And so, about thirty minutes after we arrived, we turned around for home. There’s always next year. 🙂
A half a mile down the road, Gage said, “I’m hungry, Grandma.”
I had been anticipating this since he’d only had those few sips and bites of cocoa and donut.
“What are you hungry for, honey?”
“I’m hungry for your house.”
Oh, my sweet boy.
Our house is about twenty yards from his, since the kids (our son and daughter-in-law) and their kids (Gage and Maddy) live in an apartment we built back there. And most days, at one time or another, Gage comes to the back door and knocks. “Let me in, Grandma!” Sometimes, he’ll knock again later for a second visit. Usually when I open the door those times, he’ll make a broad sweep with his arms and say, “Ta da! I’m back!” I adore him.
Our house is the place where he can be as loud as he wants or as quiet as he needs to be; a place of drum sets and train whistles; of snuggles in my lap and boxing matches with Grandpa. It’s a place where books are read on the spot, upon request, and the pantry is full of pudding and cookies and a whole box full of nothing but Gage-snacks. It’s as much his home as ours; maybe more.
I love that he loves to be here. And I imagine God loves when we love to be in His house.
I sometimes walk into the sanctuary when no one else is there, and just stand and listen. There’s only silence, but sometimes the silence can talk to you. I look at the chairs and think of the people who occupy them all throughout the week, and I look at the pulpit, where the Word is honored and shared, and I look to the left and right of that pulpit and think of the musicians who lead us in worship, and I look at the light coming in through the upper windows, and I think of God who has given it all to us — not because He needs a dwelling place, but because we need a gathering place.
Lord, I love Your house.