Wednesday nights are one of my favorite nights of the week. I work my long day on Wednesdays, pick up my children from band practice and after school program, and pull into my driveway as the light is beginning to fade. We unpack from school and work, the children begin homework and I dig through the fridge to find whatever leftovers we have. It’s on my weekly menu–Wednesday: Leftovers–yet somehow I don’t have enough these days. My boys are eating too much (as evidenced by Ash-man’s recent growth spurt finding all his pants too short, yet still to big in the waist).
By 6:30, we are clearing the table and I’m cleaning up dishes and a few minutes before 7:00, I see that first face at my back door, and somehow he always makes me laugh. This curly-headed boy who has finally started sixth grade and can be with his friends in youth group. They keep arriving, middle school boy after middle school boy, here for small group. I chat with them about their week. They ask me how I’m doing. They wrestle over who gets what chair and who’s going to steal a seat from Tim, their leader.
Tim arrives, more boys in tow, and he brings his son, who is here to play with Bella. S arrives in costume weekly, and she is waiting, usually costumed herself. This week, I heard him tell her, “I’m a different person this week.” his voice is remarkably low for a seven year old, and she laughs and says, “Well, who shall I be?” And they run off to the play room to dig through our costume box.
Last night, that curly-haired boy arrived with his saxophone. After I went upstairs to read, I heard strains of music–scales, then the Pink Panther theme, then the jingle from the Nationwide commercial. Bri, curled up next to me, laughs. “He’s really good!” Yes, he is, very good. Then our Bear, who is dying to join them but has to wait a year, grabs his trumpet and works his way through Jingle Bells, and there is much laughter below us.
I love Wednesday nights. I love these boys. I shake my head at the adolescent humor and curl up each night with a book or my laundry to fold. My room is above the den where they meet, but I can hear nothing but the hum of conversation, the occasional rising of Tim’s voice to regain attention, the quietness of prayer, the bursts of laughter.
Last week my Bear spent the whole time upstairs on FaceTime and then playing an online game with a friend in Japan… a friend who used to be part of this very same small group before his family moved.
There is something so comforting about this. I’m not sure I can even voice what it is. There is something about knowing these boys are here, studying God’s Word, learning about relationship… being boys. It is one of the many gifts in my life that I am asking God to let me keep.
It is hard these days to hold everything with open hands. I am feeling stripped of so much, and I fear so much more will be stripped from me. And yet, I ask him (I ask Him even now as I type) please, Lord, please help me trust You. Help me hold this world, these gifts with open hands, knowing they belong to You in the first place.
Y’all, last week, Tim had me come downstairs and briefly share my story. The boys had been learning about loving one another… so he had them pray for me.
To hear them. Oh, y’all, I wish you could have heard them! To hear Tim pray and in his prayer showing them how to pray. Five middle school boys, ages 11-13, lifting me up, my family up, asking God for healing and for trust. It was so beautiful, so humbling.
Last night while reading, I fell asleep to that comforting hum of muffled conversation below me. I woke to laughter and hilarity and wrestling and dog chasing. It was loud and boisterous and bombastic.
And, yes, it was comforting.
Oh, how I love these Wednesday nights.
Oh, Lord, bless these boys with a heart for You that only grows deeper in love and faith and trust. May they grow strong and wise and brave and true and follow after you all the days of their life. Thank you. Thank you for each one of them. They are gifts from you, and I am blessed. So very blessed.