My boys came home unexpectedly the other day. The one I married and the other one who’s graced our home for nearly 21 years now. They knew it was a rough day for me. Apparently, they had talked, because when our tall boy walked in, he dropped his backpack, turned to me and asked, “I don’t have to be back until 6. Where’s the tree?” Really?! These two! Their hearts don’t go all aflutter with the idea of adorning our home for Christmas, so I usually don’t subject them to such things. Can I just say it’s rather overwhelming when love waltzes right in your front door like that! All deliberate-like, dripping with grace and tied up with a big bow.
So one by one, boxes were opened, partially emptied and returned to their shelf. Branch by branch the tree was assembled. This thinning tree that has served us well for almost a decade now. And strand by strand lights were unwound from their cardboard and arranged on each branch. They turned on a chick flick in the background. Not because it’s their favorite genre, but because they know me. And they knew it would speak love to my heart.
It did. Our afternoon together wasn’t on the calendar for their day. I suppose they figured it was just a handful of hours. Hours they deemed better spent loving family.
Loving through their actions. Loving through their gift of time. Loving with strong hugs, prayers and a bit of banter thrown in for good measure. Because they know well my tendency to crack a joke mid-bawl. Not in an irreverent sort of way, but in a healthy releasing of tension and grief sort of way.
I’ve thanked them both several times. And I’ve wondered how well I communicate such love to others. How well do I really see the hearts of those around me? How well do I help them carry their load? How well do I brighten their day?
And how about you? How have you been loved by those around you today? This week? How has someone seen your heart? How have they carried your load? How have they brightened your day?