The Tree Swing

I decide to go for a run while I await my husband’s arrival with the phone charger, toothbrush, and medicine I forgot to pack for the retreat. Yes, I really did forget those three essentials. It’s humbling to be married to a man who never forgets essentials, yet happily comes to my rescue.

My eyes focus on the morning moon as I ponder how the orb reflects a light not her own, shining incandescently – like Mary, say the Church Fathers.

As I round a corner, the unexpected sight of the tree swing moves me to tears. It is as if God inspired someone to hang it there just for me. It wasn’t there at last year’s retreat and only God knows how dearly I love to swing.

The swing is an invitation to a carefree embrace of all God’s good gifts – to relax and receive his love. His love is so intimate and personal that I am undone.

“Work as if it were play.” The phrase rings repeatedly in my mind. I ponder the work of swinging. When I exert the effort to pump arms and legs, the swing is set in motion and what began as work soon becomes effortless, simply because that’s how physics work on planet earth.

An immediate “yes” to the swing would mean a “no” to finishing my run. Besides, I dare not risk missing my husband’s arrival.

So I promise to return.

When I return to the swing, I discover his invitation has not been withdrawn.

The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior, who will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, who will sing joyfully because of you. Zephaniah 3:17

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