Wednesday, June 17, 2009

To Know and Be Known

The Newberg Public Library kicked off it's summer reading program this afternoon with a party on the front lawn complete with face painting and free ice cream cones from the local ice cream store.   It seemed like all of Newberg turned out for the event and we did a lot of standing in line.  To sign up.  To get our ice cream ticket.  To get our ice cream cones.  To get our faces painted.  To find library books.  To check out library books.  

While we stood in line, we looked around.  Everywhere we glanced, we saw people we recognized.  Kids from Crater (the first elementary school the kids went to) yelled howdies and gave hugs to Grant and Katie.  We saw at least half of Grant's 2nd grade class from Mabel Rush.  Alli greeted friends from her pre-school.  I ran into several ladies from the gym.  We saw neighbors.  Moms from MOPS.  Moms from story time and random meetings at the park.  

We didn't even notice all the waiting that we did because we were too busy exchanging hugs and catching up.  Even as we headed to the car, we continued to run into familiar faces.

It dawned on me as I was jimmying the van out of my parallel parking spot (which by the way - I parked in a parallel spot accurately on my first attempt - will someone please give me a medal of honor for conquering my fear of parallel parking?) how far we've come in a year.

When we signed up for the summer reading program last year, we'd lived in Newberg for all of 3 days.  I winged it to even find the library and was disappointed by the empty children's area.  No families to introduce myself to and no friends for the kids.  We left alone and went to the park to try to find someone to play with.  It was a lonely summer, but our prayers for friends did not fall on deaf ears.

God, who is so awe-inducing and who has much better things to do with His time than orchestrate connections, showed compassion to our family.  He faithfully orchestrated meetings at the park, connections at VBS, and swim lessons.  New friends at school, pre-school, story time and MOPS.  And one by one, we all found friends.  Grant.  Katie.  Alli.  Paige.  Me. Curt.  And not just one friend, but multiple friends.  

I was overwhelmed by God's goodness as I listened to the sweet sound of my children's names floating on the wind as friend after friend called out to them in greeting.  It's a wonderful thing to know and be known.  How much greater that God knows my name?  That my name floats on the wind as He lovingly calls out to me to come and play?  

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