Lonny's been stretched. Pulled tight. Pressed hard. Even the wild and wonderful of life can make one tired. I can hear it in his voice when I call him at work.
"Why don't you come home for lunch?" I say. "I'll make sandwiches. See you in a half-hour?"
Lonny agrees. I make lunch and the boys go out to play.
"Mom," Gabe calls through the open window. The sky is murky gray but the air is still warm. "I'm burying treasure. Come see!"
I find him in the side yard. He has the garden shovel. And a smile brighter than the day.
"Where's the treasure?" I ask.
"What's the treasure?" I ask.
Just then Lonny comes down the patio steps. "The key," he asks. "What key?"
Gabe looks at his dad. Then he looks at me. I can see words wash over his face. Maybe the key wasn't a good thing to hide.
"The van key," Gabe says.
"You buried the van key?" Lonny asks. Color now floods his face. I can almost hear his thoughts. We only have one key. We meant to get another. Rain is about to come and why would he bury the key?
"Where did you bury it?"
"Somewhere along here."
"Why did you bury it?"
"I just don't know."
Gabe is pointing to the sidewalk that cuts through our side yard. He looks like he may cry. I don't know what he was thinking. But my own heart tugs hard.
And for a second all is silent.
He takes the shovel. He puts his hand on Gabe's shoulder. "Let's find that key," he says. "Where do we start?"
There is now a soft mist falling. I go inside and watch from the window. Lonny and Gabe move along the walk. Lonny's turning over soft mounds of dirt. They are talking. I can't hear the words.
But I'm witnessing an extension of God's good grace. I'm seeing His rich, sweet, compassionate kind of love.
Lonny's teaching. Turning dirt. He's tired. But he's leaning into the Lord. And He's tender with his son.
After a few yards they find the key. Lonny slips it in his pocket and they go to their knees. The rain falls hard as they pat the earth back down.
When they're finished I wrap Lonny's sandwich. He gives me a hug and travels back up the steps.
Gabe stands beside me and watches.
He's a just a little boy.
But I think he understands the treasure that he's found.
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Psalm 103:8