It was one of those perfect evenings in the summer. The breeze almost seemed to wiggle itself through the trees in our backyard as the sun played with the colors of the leaves. A stunning blue sky highlighted clouds of cotton candy, due to the slow beginnings of dusk.
Sitting there in the middle of the lawn with two of my youngest grandchildren, life just seemed right.
The hammock, the hula hoops, the balls thrown in the yard, and the sense of delight on my grandson's face as he played in the sprinklers made it seem as perfect as the day could be. My darling granddaughter, just a tiny baby, sat up with all her strength, and a peaceful little smile of accomplishment and satisfaction seemed to cross her face.
In the 25 years we've lived here, the house has been full of life. In some ways, it's like Under the Tuscan Sun- there's been a wedding (with 120 people), babies, and patio parties aplenty. It's also been the scene of drinks for two on quiet evenings while the soundtrack from Sabrina plays in the background. A time when my beautiful wife and I think back, look forward, and just enjoy each other's company.
Our home has been a solace when the world seemed harsh, in the days when I knew God was always good but I didn't understand why He allowed what He did. In some darkest hours, the patio has been a place where my quiet times of reading and prayer and study have brought me peace beyond measure as I have shared my heart before my God and King, the Lover of My Soul.
Moving into the house, the backyard was nothing but grass and a picket fence where every other space was filled in, leaving large gaps, making a view of the sunset easy. After years of planting, planning and building, we now had a mature yard filled with trees, flowers, shrubs, and sometimes weeds mixed in with the tulips, iris, and assorted other blooms. (So much like life, huh?) A stone patio, a fountain, and the necessary garden trinkets make the outdoor space as livable as any inside.
I sensed deep joy last night. As my grandson explored every space he could find, I felt God's pleasure. On him, on me, on looking at our life. It dawned on me today that He looks at me as I see my grandchildren- kids in the grass, deeply loved and always looked after.