We lived in a white farmhouse style home in the city of Malbis, Alabama when I was a girl. I'm sure my mother didn't like much about it at first (rickety might be a generous word to describe it) but I remember loving it, especially the upstairs. The two bedrooms there were spacious and light-filled and joined by a door. I wasn't old enough to require privacy so this arrangement suited me just fine. The bathroom was at the top of the stairs. On the other side of the upstairs banister was my favorite feature...a walk-in closet for all five of us girls to share.
Now the thing I didn't like about the walk-in closet was that we all had to pitch in to clean and organize it every spring and fall. But the thing I loved was that it was most definitely big enough for several people to fit quite comfortably in. In other words, it was the perfect space to choose when playing hide and go seek. Now, it might not have been the most creative and original space to choose, but it was comforting, quiet and dependable.
Yesterday in Father Jim's sermon, he was speaking about the last week of Advent and how we are preparing for the coming of the Christ child. But he also clarified that each day of our lives, we are also preparing for Christ's second coming, though we have no idea when this will occur. We do this by working doggedly on our acts of kindness and behaviors that need tweaking to better mirror those works that reflect God's presence in our lives. After explaining how to better prepare ourselves, he said, "Ready or not, He is coming."
This brought back a flood of memories from Malbis: closing my eyes, counting to 10 (or 20 as my older sisters sometimes tricked me into doing so they would have more time to hide!), and then yelling, "Ready or not, here I come!" Or conversely, hearing the steady counting outside of that closet door as the seeker prepared for their search. I remember vividly the anticipation and the excitement...will they find me? Will it happen within a few seconds? Or will it take longer? Am I prepared for the flinging open of this door? Will I be shocked or disappointed? Or will I be happy to know I don't have to be alone for long and feel joyful that I was found?
Similarly, after I heard Father Jim's message yesterday, I began thinking those same thoughts in regards to the coming of the Lord. Will He find me? Will it happen right away? Or will it take time for Him to realize that I want to be found? Am I prepared for Him and the flinging open of the door to my heart? Will I be shocked and sad to leave my family? Or will I be joyful to confirm that I have never been alone and that I am found? No matter the answer to these questions, I ponder them and realize this mind space is quiet, comforting, safe and dependable.
The countdown continues: 5-4-3-2-1...Ready or not...here He comes. And I will work diligently to make preparations for that blessed day!