What do you see when you look at this picture? A filthy wall? Most definitely (and a big boo to the contractor who refused to use paint I could actually wash). Look more closely and what do you see? Still only see a filthy wall? (I can't blame you, it's pretty bad) I see that, but so much more.
Maybe it would be better to look at what you don't see to understand what I see. Can you make out vertical lines of dirt? Lines evenly spaced w/ little smudges in between? Those lines are made from slats, slats from my little gals crib. And those smudges in between? Those are marks where her little feet would push through and leave little imprints! Marks of days spent playing barefoot outside, running in grass, digging in dirt. Days of so much activity, she was laid to rest w/ unwashed toes but a happy soul.
My little gal was moved today in with her big sisters. No longer does she have the room right next to mine. She didn't want to sleep alone anymore. Her sisters have a room big enough to share. It was time. Even though she was ready, I wasn't. Every time I pass by her open door I see the empty spot where her crib sat. I see that filthy wall and I remember. I remember all the nights I sat with her, rocking her, comforting her, helping ease her back to sleep. Hours of quiet singing, praying over her, whispering truths of God's love for her into her little ear. She won't remember any of it, but I will.
Knowing she was my last baby, I cherished those times. Even though I knew I'd be so tired in the morning and would still have to function to take care of the other five kids living in this house, I cherished those early morning rockings. Just her and I, awake in a house that's so full of activity, hushed for a few precious hours each day.
The room will be re-purposed. New furniture moved in, the walls repainted. The dirt cleaned away, along with those tiny footprints.
I praise God that she is healthy and growing and maturing. That she's able to sleep all through the night and that I can sleep all night long again. But, why? Why can't they stay little just a little bit longer?