The deepest longing of his heart was completely met in one singular instance. It was not loud and grandiose, it was quiet, subtle, and unexpected; much like God. No grand announcement or show made of it. His heart’s desire was met in one extraordinary moment. The memory, now seared into his psyche like a permanent imprint, was like a fleeting flash that fulfilled his lengthiest yearning. That night he had no idea he would experience something so grand. The instant caught him completely off guard and although lasted momentarily, it unfolded slowly in his mind’s eye, and with a single sigh he realized he was in it.
The night began in his car as he waited for her to arrive. The long, overseas trip had taken its toll, and she was finally back, sleepless, rolling her suitcase down the street. He embraced her, took hold of her bags, and brought them into her house. Upstairs he tucked her in, brought her a cup of water, and gently rubbed her forehead. She was home safe, and he was there with her, under one roof, no longer separated by countless miles and swathes of abysmal ocean. Her long journey home was complete, but for him, another, far greater expedition suddenly felt complete as well. In that minute, stroking her hair, with the cat nestled between them, under one roof, he felt for the very first time in his life that he had his very own family. In one brief instance, in one humble twinkling, he was at long last given his longing.
With eyes closed he saw everything; the lengthy detail of years upon years in one single wink. He heard the splash of the children in the hallway bathtub as he carried their toys up from the basement. He saw the wedding, the honeymoon, the mission trips, the trials and tribulations, the joys, triumphs, and sufferings. He saw the loss and gain of jobs, the success and failures of ministries, the celebrations and laments, the fun and the laughter, the birthdays and anniversaries, the arguments that led to love, learning and growing in grace, forgiveness, sanctification, and the answers to many, many prayers. He saw the family, all holding hands, walking down the street to the ballgame, to watch the fireworks, enjoy a picnic, to hop on the boat, to climb aboard the airplane. He saw old age, sickness, and frailty, and hands clenched in commitment. It was the most vividly detailed vague flicker; a mere blink and then, it was gone. She was asleep, he straightened the covers, kissed her head, and headed home.