The evidence is everywhere. Toys litter the yard as I peak through the front window. I step around plastic tractors and overturned trains. Snatch up a dirty sweater left abandoned as the sun warmed our humble house. It would not take you two seconds to see we have a toddler. His evidence is everywhere. I’m reminded of his ever constant growing. Too fast. I want him to slow down and stay this age just a little longer.
Like a thief in the night, TIME has always felt like an enemy. Stealing away my precious moments faster than I’d like, Time feels like water I can’t hang on to. It slips right through my fingers no matter how tightly I hold. The second day of my son’s life I cried over it. Mourning that the first day was already gone. I wished I could slow it down. Not stop it, for I am also excited about the future, but just make each day the span of ten days.
And then there are other days. Days where I beg for the sunrise. Days where I long for peace without little hands clawing at me constantly. Days where I sulk as I wash the dishes again and again and again. When time is my enemy that will not leave. It slugs on taunting me like a bully on the playground. I know the stretch of long days waiting to for a pregnancy. I know the longer days after the cramps come and every day you’re reminded of what or who will never be on this side of heaven. The breaking heart dealing with brokenness makes days stretch further than you thought possible.
But what if I have it all wrong? The beautiful Ann Voscamp has been challenging my view on time and I’m forever grateful. In her book The Broken Way, she asks the sharp question, “What if time isn’t something we GET, but something we GIVE?” For if we have already given it away, what do we have to lose?
I can be so indulgent on what I get, what I’m owed. “But whoever loses his life for my sake will find it,” (Matthew 16:25). It is in the giving. Everything I have is His. Even this. For what can we lose if it is all grace? Freedom is peaking through the clouds of this covering I’ve felt hanging over my head for so long.
I pick up those little pieces of evidence and place them quietly back in the toy basket. Time given to ones I love. The night owl hoots over the cherry tree and I can hear him over the running of water for dishes. I give of my hands and of my feet and of my heart. These dishes no longer seem so drudging, but glorifying. It is a gift. I scrub off the dinner and remember the smiling giggles we shared while partaking in this simple meal offered. When I give, I get God. I get everything. I get this moment and all of eternity. They are together and separate all at the same time.
How many days do I have? Only the One knows. “Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them,” (Psalm 139:16). He knows our time. He gifts our time. And we get this life so that we can give it away. And in the giving we find the Way, the Truth and the Life. True Life.
Time. My old foe. My new friend. It is not mine to get. I pry my fingers open with clenched water dripping away in my hands. I let it run through freely. I let it pool up in my cupped hands and splash it on my face. How many days have I wasted hating this? This time, now given, feels so different. It feels like freedom. It feels like joy.
And those precious moments of bedtime stories, and kissing boo boos, and playing trains don’t break my heart in desperation to hang on to them. Instead I splash them like the water onto my face, feeling the refreshing. And handing it over as a gift to the One I love.
All I am is His and all He is is mine. I am set free from the law of sin and death. I have a new life and am being made new every day. The grace between each moment is sweet when given.
Some nights I leave the little pieces of evidence of my son all around. A loud reminder of his grace to me. This is my time. These are the days. A gift given as long as I have breath.
Some of my good, bad, and messy moments I cherish.