Operation “Under Cover!”

August 24, 2016 at 6:26 pm

  Cell Boy” Sometimes you just need to talk to a three-year-old so you can understand what life is all about.”      -unknown-

written by  Debbie Allen

Brandon, stretched a dimpled hand anxiously toward the cell phone his Mom was about to hand down to him.  Nothing to this three-year-old was quite as special as FaceTime with his Grandma!  Whenever Mom’s cell phone rang,  in Brandon’s mind, Grandma was on the other end of that call waiting to FaceTime with him.  From the very moment her face was in his sights, he claimed her as his virtual, personal playmate. Off to his room he’d run with her!   Sometimes Grandma admitted this part of the journey made her a little sea sick; trying to keep up with all the blurred scenery and swift motions of a a three year old’s arms, sprinting up the stairs to his bedroom!  However, in the spirit of all  Grandmother-hood, she took this little rough patch in stride, claiming,

” I can’t think of a better reason in this world for taking a little Dramamine before a trip! “

Nearly every day Brandon showed Grandma nearly every toy in his room. He was always eager to share the things  he loved most in his world with her.  She, too, was more than receptive to hearing the enthusiasm that overwhelmed his voice during these exclusive Show-and-Tell times.  Though no actual pictures could ever be taken on these little trips she took with Brandon; the scrap-booker in Grandma opted for posting memories instead.  She placed them in  Grandma’s Book of Memoirs; a book tucked safely away in her heart.  It’s endless pages are now bulging with memories highlighting unforgettable moments with Brandon on their Dramamine-driven, FaceTime journey’s to his room!

Though Hollywood would never approve of the quality of these  FaceTime pannings of his room, Grandma treasured them!  Every shot was uniquely enhanced by the little-boy fingers that framed it!   Why…some of her greatest adventures lay at the end of those little fingers!  There was the time she watched as he built a Lego castle around her; and then had to knock the castle down just to retrieve Mom’s phone (and Grandma’s face!).  One of her scariest trips was the day Brandon needed both of his hands to climb up on his desk and retrieve a book from  the shelf above it.  Without warning, Brandon shoved Grandma in his back jean pocket and started climbing.  That was a dark, dark day for Grandma…literally! Maybe that was God’s way of sparing her from seeing the Mt. Everest heights Brandon had to climb to retrieve “Hansel and Gretel!”

Brandon’s FaceTime trips more than filled Grandma’s sense of adventure. He allowed her to experience numerous,  once-in-a-lifetime perspectives.  How many Grandmas do you know who have actually seen life from the metal seat inside the cab of  a yellow Tonka dump-truck?  Brandon put her there one day, and then climbed on top of the truck to drive them both over to his bedside.

“Brandon…where are you taking us today?”

“Going camping!” Brandon stated with exuberance.

Grandma smiled at the very thought of it.  From her spot in the cab of that truck she watched Brandon shove a giant stuffed bear under his bed covers to form a makeshift tent. Then he pulled her from the cab, slid her into the tent, alongside that bear ; and crawled in on the opposite side.

“Time for night night!” Brandon whispered, giggling at the snoring sounds already coming from Grandma’s side of the tent. Making special sound-effects was another of Grandma’s many areas of expertise in life!

Five minutes into that camping trip, Mom’s voice broke into the fun.

“Bran-don!  Time to eat dinner…tell Grandma bye-bye and come down!”

Unfortunately, Brandon did exactly what Mom said to do.  He leaned over and kissed the screen on the phone…told Grandma “Bye-Bye”… and went down to eat his dinner. Scooting out of the tent, Brandon dragged the bear out with him, unintentionally, which left Grandma laying under a pile of collapsed covers.

“Brandon!  Brandon! Don’t forget to take the phone back to Mommy!”  Grandma shouted out,  seeing the spontaneous darkness descending on her once again.

“Brandon…Brandon, are you still there?

” Brandon…I know you can’t hear me, but…I love you so!”  

Smiling  down at the darkness she viewed now on her own side of the cell-phone screen, Grandma pushed the “end call” button and took a moment to treasure the trip she’d taken with Brandon today.   Though most might look upon her dark screen as only an imperfect ending to a perfect day…she saw it for what it really was. Two new ‘firsts’ in Grandma’s life.  Her first time  ending the day as an under-cover agent. And the day she slept next to a bear…and lived!  This trip would go down in her Book of Memoirs as “Operation-Under Cover”.  The perfect title for a perfect day!

A good family friend shared this little story over coffee with me one day recently.  As one Grandma to another, her story touched me on so many levels.  You see, her FaceTime trips with Brandon, were born out of both necessity and a Grandma’s love.  Brandon had been undergoing cancer treatments for many months and  his weakened immune system kept him home for long intervals of time. FaceTime spared both their hearts the anxiety of a total but, necessary separation.

As I sat across from my friend that day, listening between the laughter and the tears,  my thoughts wandered from Grandchildren to God.  I couldn’t help but wonder what my relationship with God might look like if  He were to FaceTime Me?  Would it be anything close to Brandon’s FaceTime with his Grandma?  I pray… even more so. For the Face that would be looking back at me would be infinitely more than the  Face of just a heavenly Playmate.  I would be looking into the Face of  my Heavenly Soul-Mate…The One Whom my soul was created to love and be loved by in return.

“In the light of His face there is life, and His favor is like the clouds of the spring rain.” 

( Proverbs 16:15 NET)

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Heart Trappings: Imagine with me for a moment, what your life might look like if God FaceTimed you right now. Would you ignore His attempts to connect with you while you finished sipping on your latte?  Or would you step in front of your cell screen with the excitement of a little child, wanting more than anything to see what adventure might be awaiting you? Do you trust Him enough to want to share your whole heart with Him? As you lift your cell phone to pan around the corners of your life…what would be the first thing on a list of ‘favorites’ you’d want to share with God in your own exclusive Show-and-Tell time with Him? What are you reluctant to share with Him. Have you ever left God lying in the dark while you ran off in response to ‘other’ voices calling out for your attention?  Do you believe that there is ‘life’ standing in the light of His Face?  Why or why not?

Prayer: Dearest Father, as much as I’d like to think I’d respond to Your FaceTime Call to me with the enthusiasm of little Brandon; if I were honest, I know I’d be the one sipping on a latte some days.  Truthfully, the thought of the Creator of all things ever choosing to FaceTime me is a thought too big for my finite brain to process.  Help me to remember that when You call Your children, it is because You Love them and You want to connect with us, to be an active part of our daily life.  Remove any fear we may have to answer Your Call, and replace our reluctance with anticipation and joy!   May the light on our own earthly cell phones be a daily reminder of this Heavenly Truth:  “In the Light of Your Face…there is life to be found.” May we continually seek Your Face.    Amen