I can imagine baskets of Swedish Ivy hanging on the part of the fence that curves over the yard. The building is a new one, five or six stories tall. The angles of the lines at the windows make for interesting shadows in the noonday sun.
I am afraid to look at the windows, worried that I will be seen and it will upset him like it did when he was in preschool and I had to leave. It is a quiet scene, a painful scene. I have never been here before.
And then a familiar man’s voice rings out, a voice so deep that it still surprises me: “Mama.” Even as I glance at the windows, searching for a face to go with the voice, I know that I can’t see anything, and I don’t know, maybe it isn’t my kid, but it sounds like him. Maybe it’s wishful thinking. Maybe someone up there, behind the window, needs a mama. Maybe it’s just a cruel joke. I have decided it’s wise to bow my head and ignore the voice.
But he speaks again, this time with more urgency, “Mama” and after a brief pause: “I love you, Mama”. All my wisdom and propriety is abandoned as I call back, “I love you too son”. Without missing a step, I continue walking into the building. That’s how it was when he was in preschool, there came the time when I finally had to walk away, and not look back. But Lord God, he’s not in preschool.
He’s in jail.
And it hurts. . .
We got the call at 5:00 a.m. Mother's Day morning. I have talked to him on the phone. Bailing him out would be a stretch for us, but for now, we are choosing to leave him in.
There were other things I have feared-- an overdose, a car wreck, a violent death.
Now I fear a different list of things.
But I will also remember:
“Thus far the Lord has helped us.” 1 Samuel 7:12
And I will be grateful for His faithfulness, even in the darkest of times.