Sitting down at a local restaurant, my wife pointed out some folks who have worshiped regularly with us for some time as they entered. They have talked to me about joining the church, but busy schedules have prevented a time to meet and talk. Like many families in this day and age candles are being burned at both ends. On this occasion, it was mom, three year old daughter, and husband's family visiting from Oregon.
Mom introduced me to her guests as the three year old grinned at me and waved.
We both resumed our conversations and meals with our respected families.
My wife, mother-in-law, and father-in-law finished first. We had two engagements at the elementary school--a son who was doing a dramatic reading of "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" with his class and a daughter who was playing piano in the third grade talent show. It was time to leave, but I wanted to make sure and say goodby. In these parts, a pastor does not just get up and walk out without at least taking a moment to do such things.
There were brief moments of conversation punctuated by a moment of grace.
The three year old, stands up in her chair (not too sure the restaurant folks were all that keen about this), turns around and locks her arms around my neck, and proceeds to squeeze. It wasn't just a little squeeze. It was one of those down home--use all your strength--squeeze the snot out of you--bear hugs: from a little girl who has only seen me at church 10 or so times.
It was unexpected. It was joy full. It was a moment of grace. It filled my heart.
May you run into such a moment this day.