I got to mow the grass today.
I know. That doesn’t sound like much of an adventure, but it was. As the little Grands would say – “Seriously, Grandma, it was”. I’ve been waiting and watching, watching and waiting to mow this grass. Green. Lush. New. Barefoot ready grass.
Somewhere around Easter, Hubby smoothed the ground around his second retaining wall. NC red clay is really not conducive for growing much – even when it has been recently ground and aerated. When happy, hubby-grinder-man does his thing on leftover tree stumps, red clay doesn’t stand a chance. Add some rich, dark topsoil – – tiny seeds – – a cover of hay – – a friendly neighbor’s prodding to add some good fertilizer – – water – – another covering of prayer – – and wallah – – grass that begs for bare feet.
Seeds broken. Fruit emerging. New life.
When I finally sat down to rest and looked at the small patch of green and a 3/4 deck covered in stain, I remembered. Today is the 40th day since Easter. Today is Ascension Day.
For weeks, the risen Christ walked 40 more days upon this earth. Where He was and what He did during these 40 days has always intrigued me. I like to think He visited His mother – a lot visited- since I figured her pain was almost as great as His as she watched Him suffer such a death. Or maybe – He spent time talking with all those who rose from their graves on the day the veil was split in the temple. (Matt 27:52-53) Or maybe – He traveled the world to bring the Good News to all gentiles who lived far outside of Israel.
We do know that St. John wrote, “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.” Jn 20:30 We do know that He visited with his closest friends and family 10-12 times (depending on how you count some of them) . We do know that when He ascended to the Father on the 40th day, He went to prepare a place for us.
A New Jerusalem.
A New Home.
In ancient Jewish wedding ceremonies, the bridegroom and the bride would meet and be joined together – married. Then the bride and her groom would return to their respective homes. The bride would use this time to prepare herself for being with the love of her life. She would gather the things needed to bring joy to herself and her husband in their new family. While the groom would also use this time to prepare himself for being with the love of his life. A time to build a home and filled with the things needed to welcome his love into her new family with him.
Ascension Day is so much more than just our Risen LORD returning to His father. It is the day when the bridegroom returned home to prepare a place. It was the signal for the bride to begin her preparations. It was the day when the grass began to grow barefoot green all around the world. Almost like a new garden emerging.
That lush, green grass is still growing – – spreading and multiplying around the world. And as I walked around the sprinkler tonight, I felt its joy through my toes and looked up at the sky. Perhaps tonight – – perhaps tomorrow – – perhaps a decade from now. Whatever. The Bridegroom is there – – looking – – and waiting – – just like I have done all my life. And when the Father’s time is accomplished – – when the time of waiting is over – – when the rooms are finished – – it will be a time of such joy never known since the gates were slammed shut in that perfect Garden.
In the meantime, the grass continues to grow. I talked to Littlest and laughed. I cried a little over the oldest Grands getting ready to graduate from high school (how is that possible?). I replayed a video of my younger son walking down a street in Spain. Hugged on my daughter and the little Grands as they spread freckles on our deck and themselves. Sat in my war room for a short moment of prayer. And sighed over the growing laundry pile that will have to wait for a dryer part to arrive (thank you, G-d, for our quirky neighborhood that has a wonderful fix-it man right next door).
This bride is waiting tonight – counting the stars – and enjoying the wait…kinda…I still get rather impatient. Yet when all is said and done, I really do want my lodgings to be face-to-face perfect and full of unspeakable joy. Seriously, Father, seriously.
“There are many lodgings in my Father’s house, and if not, I would have told you, because I go to prepare a place for you.”~Jn 14:2