Have you ever been in a crowded place and heard someone speak your name? You turn around, wondering if they might be addressing you, but another person is responding to the call. Disappointing, isn’t it?
One day years ago, I was in a shopping centre, absorbed in examining some books outside a store. As I was trying to decide if they were worth buying at the price, I suddenly heard an excited little voice call, ‘Grandma!’
Quick staccato questions clicked through my head. Is she mine? Another Grandma’s? Where would all my grandees be today? Here in this place? Should I check, in case? Of course you’ve guessed it, I did turn in the direction of that voice! Almost immediately!
Coming towards me was a small group of people, and out in front was a tiny blond child with shining eyes, arms outstretched. And she was beginning to run. Yes, she’s mine! And I’m hers! I scooped her up and we hugged gleefully. The books were forgotten, all the other grandmothers were ignored and I was rewarded!
Straight away she began chattering about all the things she’d been doing and everything she planned to do now we were together. Her mother soon caught up with us and I found out why they were there. The question that had been asked on the way in the car was, ‘Do you think Grandma will be at the shopping centre today?’ The reply was, ‘We’ll see when we get there’. And they did!
This incident with my grand-daughter came to mind recently as I was thinking about the promise that Jesus made to come back for us again. He’d comforted his disciples with this reassurance: Don’t let this throw you. You trust God don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. What a great promise! Certainly something wonderful to look forward to.
I began to wonder…was I really watching for him? Did I live my life as if he might turn up at any time? When he came, would he call my name? Was his return a priority for me, or was I too absorbed in my own life?
I smiled as I thought about my grand-daughter’s spontaneity all those years ago. When she saw me. she didn’t hesitate or feel embarrassed by the crowd. She knew me! I was her Grandma! And she was my grand-daughter! She knew she’d get a joyful welcome from me!
So what would people think if we suddenly saw Jesus return and yelled out, ‘Jesus!’ Some onlookers might think we were crazy. Others may remember what they’d learnt as children about Jesus saying he would come back one day. How many of us are ready?
I thought, Any wonder we’ll be lifted up to meet him. With rapturous joy we’ll leave everything we have here to be with him.