“I made you a casserole,” was the text I got on my way home from work the other day. I had laundry waiting, editing to be done, and a supper to fix at home, so I called Rusty and told him I’d only be a second. So I took the next right hand turn I could find and headed towards my sister’s house.
I opened the door to the car after killing the ignition and before I even swung my feet out I could hear the front door to their house unlock and open, and the sound of giggles wafting through the quiet neighborhood street were enough to stop my heart for a second.
Sometimes, I’m pretty sure God uses opportunities like these to remind us of what’s really important. It isn’t the laundry or the dishes waiting to be done, and it’s not the work we do to keep our lives somewhat organized and on track. Sometimes, it’s about taking the opportunity to stray off the road leading us to our next project, taking that next turn and jumping face first into what is important: the ones who love us the most.
As I walked in the door, I was greeted by hugs, kisses, and shouts of excitement that I was there. And the dishes in my sink suddenly disappeared. And I talked to my sister for way longer than I’d planned. And I smiled all the way home.
A few days later, the same thing happened. We had work to be done at home and I was ready to strap on my cleaning gloves and attack my bathroom when Rusty announced that he was going to our nephews’ soccer practice. Another opportunity knocked, and I rode with him, hand in hand across town to our soccer complex to watch their first soccer practice.
I didn’t have my camera. Well, my “pro” camera. So I contented myself with watching instead of photographing, like normal. And I’m again, thankful that God orchestrated the whole ordeal because had I been focused on getting my exposure correct, I wouldn’t have noticed what happened next.
“Pick a partner,” the coach announced, his voice rough and hoarse from yelling across the field during their practice. I watched my nephews, brothers, on the same team were the only ones not running around looking for a partner. Instead, they ran straight into each others arms and hugged. Partners for life. While often, I see them arguing about who took whose toy or who hit who on the head — there’s no doubt they have a bond with one another that is stronger than any other. While they fight sometimes, there’s nothing they’d fight for more than each other.
At that moment, I was so proud to call them my family. Demonstrating there on a field of fresh cut grass the unmistakable love of a strong family to a crowd of witnesses– which is something that cannot be taught by two people, but lives within the depths of their precious little souls. I’m not sure if anyone else noticed their display. And maybe it was there for me to see. To remind me that no matter what we do in life, our families are the only ones who are there for us every day. Who love us beyond measure. And who love us THROUGH the good, the bad and the times in between. They’re the ones that always have our backs, call us out when we stray and pick us above any other as their partners for life.
By the time the boys were ready to leave the field, I remembered I had a point and shoot camera in my purse. <– Photographer Fail. So I whipped it out to grab a shot to remember the day. And to remind myself to stop more often and see the things God uses to softly break our hearts and put them back on track to strive for the REAL important things. It’ a blurry image. Not technically correct at all. And while as a photographer, I should be embarassed to show it off, I’m more proud of this image than any other. Because of what it means to me.