Thursday at 5:30 pm, the front door opened.
I expected to see Carl’s smiling face but
it was Courtney’s sweet smile instead.
Not that she had come home following midterm exams because
that had been the plan.
The surprise was that the parents and the student had been texting all week making
pickup plans as her class schedules changed and changed.
Funny how text messages can be so fast and convenient but leave
out some essential details.
Carl and I were focused on her being finished on Friday.
Courtney knew she would be outta there on Thursday.
We discussed the time but not the day.
An important detail.
Carl planned to take off work early to retrieve her on Friday.
Courtney wondered why no one had said a word to her as time passed on Thursday.
So she strapped on her backpack and made her way to the shuttle bus.
I am sure she felt a bit forgotten.
Because of the day mix-up, I had not done any of my usual preparations.
You know, stock the fridge with her favorites, clean her bathroom, make sure her
room was warm and perhaps even put flowers on her desk.
I love doing those things and I know she appreciates it.
What I realized on Thursday evening about 5 minutes after she left my hug to find
other arms around the house, open and waiting to embrace her was
that Courtney came home to be with us.
I know that sounds obvious.
We…the five of us and a furry pooch represent home to her.
The fluffed up pillows, the bouquets and her favorite foods are great but are
like continuing to eat when the fork should have been lowered several trips
We five satisfy her need for home like nothing else can supply.
Everything else is just window dressing.
I wonder how often I try to accessorize my relationships?
I may even do this when I approach God.
Do I feel that I need to present myself in a particular way in a certain
setting to be acceptable to Him?
Don’t I realize that His waiting arms are pointed in my direction
He’s the one who cleans my room and fills me and my fridge with good things.
I wonder if my ears in prayer only hear what I think makes sense?
What encounters might I miss?
This weekend, I am settling in and enjoying the love and joy between
I hope your weekend is found to have equal measures of love, joy and
when you meet outstretched arms, you will know
you can walk into them with empty hands and absorb the truth that you
That my friends, will be the best kind of surprise.