As we taxied out to the runway, I said, “I bet those children are sad.”
“Oh, I don’t know,” Jay responded. “They seemed pretty distracted when we left.”
“Well, they were at the window waving, and I somehow think that Ellie has it in her mind that as soon as we go home, she’ll get to come to our house and go to the mountains—a slight mishap of understanding that occurred one morning at 6:00 while the rest of the house slumbered in sleep (and I nearly so) while little Elliott was as wide awake as a squirrel scampering over a fence top. Sleepily, I’d said, “This summer when you come to Granny’s house, we’ll go to the mountains.”
A while later Jay joined us and I slid all the way down on the couch and went back to sleep as Jay handed Ellie his iPad with the ABC game on. When I awoke, Ellie jumped up excited and shouted, “Yay, now we can go to the mountains!”
From that point on she asked periodically when we were going home.
How? I wondered, does one who measures time in months and years explain to a 4-year-old who measures days in numbers of sleeps just when she will come to Colorado and go to the mountains. Even if I put 150 beads in a tub and told her to take one out each night before she slept, it would still overwhelm her.
So—just how could a good God who lives beyond time altogether ever make us (who measure history in generations and centuries) ever grasp the meaning of His imminent return?
As I write these words 43,000 feet above the earth and moving miles and miles farther and farther away from Elliott, I think I know better now that I can’t really comprehend Jesus’ words any more than Ellie can understand mine.
Yet, I still think that Elliott believes that one day, some day, she will get in her “new” car and drive far, far, far—to our house, and we will eat mac and cheese, have tea parties, and go to the mountains.
Jesus told His disciples: “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”