After spending Christmas with family at my sister’s new home in Georgia, I’m back at my desk, reflecting. Being with family and friends in their personal space allows for insight that phone calls, texts, or even Skype cannot. Last week’s visit helped me see the impact of time I’d previously spent with my nephew.
It’s the Friday after Christmas, and I’m tucked into a cozy spot by the fireplace. The doorbell rings— not once, but twice. I look up to see two sets of eyes peering through slender glass windows on either side of the front door. Two boys waiting, wondering, hoping someone will answer their call.
“Caleb, your friends are here!”
I hear scuffling in the loft. “OK!”
The coveted X-Box goes silent as he bounds from his perch. The boy’s size twelve toes barely seem to touch a step. Still cozy in my pjs, I step into the background when he opens the door. Telling smiles greet him. His countenance radiates gladness.
“Hey, Caleb! Can you come out?”
He looks over his shoulder to seek my approval. I step forward to look around the door frame. One of the brothers rocks on his scooter, patiently awaiting my nod. “Hi, boys. I’m Aunt Robin. Is that rain?”
“No, Ma’am. It’s only a sprinkle.”
Laughter tickles my heart as water pours at the corners of the roof.
“Can I?” Caleb’s hoping his spontaneous, life-loving aunt shows up. She did.
“Go have fun, but wear appropriate clothing—like, a hat and stuff. I’m not sure your mom would approve of your running around in the rain. I trust you to come home if sprinkles turn into a downpour.”
The delight of adventure spilled from Caleb’s face. “I will!” And off he went, traipsing into the woods with the cousins. Their voices grew faint as I lingered at the door. My heart whispered thanksgiving.
Last spring I stayed with Caleb and his dad at their Ohio home while my sister transitioned to a long-awaited position out of state. Finishing the last three months of his fourth grade year without his mom home full time stood to be a challenge. I felt the privilege of these days and marveled that the Lord caused me years ago to hold my life in open hands, ready to respond when He invited.
I got to hear the questions of Caleb’s heart, often without asking. He’s a ponderer. He wrestles internally with things many adults never even consider, let alone attempt to resolve. One afternoon while we sat with his homework, he expressed aloud a huge concern.
“Aunt Robin, what if the kids in my new school don’t like me, and I don’t have any friends?”
Whoa, Buddy. Aunting hands-on isn’t for sissies. I entered into Caleb’s question. I’ve asked of the Lord this same assurance. We are created for relationships. If our relationships feel tenuous, or non-existent, all of life feels insecure. The boy needs to know he won’t be alone.
“It’s hard,” he said. “I won’t be able to just knock on Philip and Ellie’s door when I want to hang out.”
My heart broke. In that moment I became acutely aware of my human limitations.
The open door led to some good conversation to reinforce the things his mom and dad were already teaching. We can tell God our cares and trust Him to meet our needs.
The opportunity to see just HOW God was meeting Caleb’s needs in his brand new community caused my heart to soar. Not only did he have neighbors with kids on ONE corner, but on TWO, not to mention next door! The boy’s prayers, and my prayers, and his mom’s prayers, and the prayers of many a friend were answered by the Lord with resounding LOVE.
Caleb’s a boy whose life-giving auntie whispers words of thanks on his behalf. If you’re a woman with siblings or friends with kids, you’re a life-giving auntie too. Your utterances to the Father matter. The kids you love need your time, your words, your prayers. Open yourself up and give some life.
Thanks for visiting my cyber home today! If you’re inclined to be part of the growing community here, feel free to share your experience. Leave a comment, let us know how these words affect you, and how you are carrying forward the ministry of being a life-giver. I hope this space will become a safe place for you to invite your friends back to. But bring your own pillow; we sit on the floor here. 😉