There was a morning when a child ran out the door to catch the bus. Late. Shoes in one hand, jacket in the other. Backpack hanging open. Sock-clad feet racing over wet grass.
Tears had flowed that morning. The child was slow to leave bed. And eat breakfast. And brush teeth.
The mom responded with impatience.
As the bus pulled away, the child had looked out the bus window to the house, where the mom stood watching at the window, half-shadowed behind the curtain.
And the mom felt sorry. Sorry for words that sprung in anger. Sorry for not saying the words that she now wished to say so loudly that her child would hear them through the windows. Sorry for reacting, not teaching.
Sorry she was looking through windows.
Oh, she was thankful for windows. Better than a wall.
She could see her child through the window. Know the tears were done. Watch the child wave. But looking through windows was not the same as a hug or arms around shoulders or words clearly heard…forgiveness given.
She could see, but she could not see fully. Separated.
The window separation made the mom think of people who lived with Moses and Ruth and Isaiah. They lived behind curtains, a veil, seeing in shadows, peering as it were through windows, longing to know how and when God’s redemption would burst in and light the shadows.
Aching for reconciliation.
It came, that redemption, in a way unexpected. In a servant who was king. In a death that brought life. Most people were too busy looking at windows and adding to shadows to see the veil ripped.
But some saw. Some saw that reconciliation had come through the cross. No more waiting for their heart’s desire – they could have access behind the curtain now (Heb. 10:19-22). The door was open. The King had come.
The mom marveled at how she took this all for granted – the tearing of curtains and removal of shadows. How could one possibly take reconciliation with God for granted? But she did.
She remembered how, afternoon sun slanting, she had stood again that day at the window, waiting for the bus to return, longing for the moment when her child would run for the door that stood wide open. What joy when the waiting had passed, replaced with the intertwining of arms and hearts and words and forgiveness!
It was the smallest (and quite imperfect) of glimpses, she thought, of the yearning experienced long ago before Christ fulfilled the shadows.
Don’t take it for granted, she tells herself often. We are separated no more, so let us draw near, even as we wait for the final return of the King.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
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