Lynna Clark: Come on in!
Last week I brought my geraniums inside before the frost could get them. I could tell that if they’d had their way, they’d still be out in the fresh air, turning their pretty faces toward the sun. Instead they are safe and warm, protected from the coming cold.
It’s time to come in!
I used to hate those words. The screen door would squeak. Mama would push it open and call out to me. I knew better than to protest. But why couldn’t I stay outside just a little longer? Sure it was getting dark, and cold. And I was hungry. Back then mamas didn’t stop what they were doing to provide snacks shaped like dinosaurs every two hours. I remember hearing about kids who came home to milk and cookies after school. That sounded pretty good to me. When I brought that plan to my mother’s attention she looked at me like I had two heads. “Crazy child! You’ll have supper in a couple hours. Go play before it gets too dark.” And that was that.
There were forts to build and bikes to ride; Creeks to explore and dams to make. Trees to climb and paths to clear, all in the name of playing before it got too dark. Then I’d hear the dreaded squeak of the screen door and mama’s voice lilting over the neighborhood. “Time to come in.”
If I had wandered out of earshot, daddy’s whistle could be heard a country mile. I knew to run as fast as my little short legs would carry me if daddy had to whistle.
Once inside, I’d pull my dirty sneakers off, wash up and inhale the wonderful goodness of the meal we were about to eat. In fall and winter my body would begin to thaw with the warmth of the old oil furnace. I’d stand on the metal grate in the hall where the hot air would blow upward as long as I could. My little sister slipped on freshly waxed floors one day and did a belly flop there. I think she still has a waffle pattern on her midsection.
Eventually we’d settle in at the table, one of those chrome ones with bright yellow chair cushions. It seemed we always had lots of vegetables like okra, corn and butter peas mama had frozen the summer before. My favorite meal was her meatloaf with potato salad and slaw. Looking back I wonder why it took so much to get me inside at the end of the day. I guess in my thinking that signaled the end of fun; when actually the warmth and comfort of home was just what I needed.
Someday we’ll all hear the call of our Maker. Though there’s much to keep us here, we’d be wise to look forward to it. In fact, my best comfort while dealing with cancer was the assurance that as much as I love life here, better things are in store since I trust the One Who made me. Though I’m well now praise God, I still long for the day when His gentle voice will call, “Come on inside child. I’ve made something special just for you!”
I plan to run just as fast as my little fat legs will carry me.
“Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” –Romans 8: 39b