The Grands had a great week being spoiled by Grandparents – 3 days with the paternal ones and one day with the maternal side. As we all know – grandparents don’t have to play by any rules when they are babysitting, so the daughter called me twice yesterday from New Orleans, hoping to convince me that a decent bedtime would be a great idea.
I laughed. What parent doesn’t have similar conversations with Grandparents? What parent wants to take the tired, cranky, sugar-high children home to rules and routine?
Since I do try to abide by the parental unit rules – occasionally, I opened the closet door, pulled out the teacher box, and we got busy. We made turkeys for Thursday, tucked Grands in bed in by 10 (only a couple hours late), read Sunday funnies together, made the first Christmas ornaments of the season, read a couple Christmas books, opened the door for the neighborhood kids to join us for a couple crazy hours of noisy, dress-up, romps in piles of leaves and wild woods; then shoved everyone out the door into the parents’ arms in record time – just before I collapsed in the hot tub to soak the swollen knee and healing toe.
The Grands are pretty good about cleaning up after themselves, but they missed a book that was sticking out from under the bed in “their” room. It was a Little Golden book – one of mine. A well loved one from the looks of it. Front and back hard cover missing. Pages bent, torn and creased. Pictures as familiar as my own parents’ faces. Songs that I can still sing from memory. The Little Golden Book of Hymns smiled up at me, and I opened the door of yesterday’s treasures.
Leafing through the pages, I made my way to the piano. The fingers remembered the hymns almost without looking as images flashed across the brain at warp speed – endless hours at home – at scary recitals – at the even scarier church services. This little book opened the door to my Godmother’s voice – who was also my neighbor, piano teacher and organist for my childhood church and eventual wedding.
Treasured books open doors to all the treasures we have buried inside of us – that old book smell – the voices of loved ones – activities long forgotten, the resonance of a chord printed on a page, a tear or two splashed upon the piano keys.
“Behold, I stand at the door and I shall knock. If a man listens to my voice and will open the door, I also shall come in and I shall have supper with him, and he with me.”~Rev 3:20
Sometimes we screw up. We don’t open those heavy doors or the doors tucked in corners, the rusty doors that squeak a little too loudly, or the doors where poor strangers may be standing. The inn-keeper in Bethlehem didn’t open up his business for a stranded couple, but he did open the door to the stable. I hate to think how long I avoided opening the door to the shepherd who knocked so often just because I was afraid to see His face when He looked at my dirty face and feet.
“Jesus comes not with a list of things for you to do but with a list of things He has already done and will do. Jesus lifts burdens; He doesn’t add to them”~Max Lucado (p.54)
It is good to remember during this Christmas season that it is never too late to open the door to the season – the door to the reason behind the season – the door that leads to a feast beyond compare because we will never hunger again. [google images]