how i spent the last hour
From this perch (again ... in the coffee shop), I can watch the students sprawled on all those fake leather couches. They laugh at the antics of one another, and wave at newcomers who saunter around the corner. One girl twirls her keychain around her index finger. Another moves to a wooden chair, tilts it back on two legs, and twists her shoulder-length blond hair in a temporary bun. When she tires of holding it, she drops the bundle and it untwists itself to her shoulders.
A boy walks in wearing a green sweatshirt (how can he do that in this heat?) and sporting iPod earbuds. He looks around to see who else is in this room, drops his backpack and his Bible on the table next to me, and heads toward the coffee bar.
A girl directly across the room from me sits on an equally tall perch, dangling her skinny girl legs in time to her own privately heard iPod playlist. She's typing on a Mac like mine. Her hair is my length, my color. I wonder what she's typing; wonder what she's thinking. I wonder why she's at this Bible college ... and I wonder what God might do with her life.
My own child is not here. He'd planned to be. Without my knowing it, he'd turned down an invitation to head Yucca-way with a friend for a birthday party. When I found out he'd done that so we could spend time together, I told him he could have gone. But he shook his head and said, "That's all right. Besides, Ryan's already left."
We had walked toward the coffee shop together, talking about those little un-noteworthy things you talk about while meandering. But when we rounded a dorm wall and began to cross the street, Zac looked to the right and said, "Hey, there's Ryan. He hasn't left yet."
"Go, Zac," I said.
"I couldn't," he said back. "I should stay here with you."
We've eaten twice at O'Hana's Hawaiian Barbecue since I got here. We've sat on those fake leather chairs and talked with his friends. We've shopped at the mall. We've called and sent each other a dozen texts. We've hugged and said 'I love you' and enjoyed the nearness of one another. Did I want to spend another two hours with him? Of course. But did I love him enough to give him a guilt-free hall pass? You know I do.
"Go with Ryan," I said. "I have so much editing to do ... go have fun."
He hesitated only a second. "Are you sure?"
My kiss said yes. Oh, how I love that boy.
Lord, have Your way with him. Take him just as far as you want him to go. Make him a man who will capture the world for You, who will share Your heartbeat with all who will listen.
Do the same with the Mac girl, the boy with the backpack, the laughing duo on the couch, the girl in her tilted-back chair.
Make them Yours ... and then launch them.