joey calls “hello” from the bedroom, in his new bed upstairs, because kasher and aiden sleep together now and he’s spending every second weekend here (with us providing respite) and the rest of the time with his mom in the city.

it’s a quiet hello that rises from his bed like the sun ring i saw yesterday from the fields of snow, the rays of light trying to break through winter’s clouds and the iris of God peering over the world.

he calls hello to know i’m here in the living room, sitting in my chair, writing on my laptop, that i haven’t left him alone in the dark.

it’s reassured him to come back this weekend, after living here for 11 months. not because things are bad in the city–joey’s mom is doing wonderfully, and rising up to the occasion of motherhood, and i’m scared to applaud too loudly for there are many years to come–but because he’s learned by the age of four that you can’t trust people. you can trust the Jesus in them, but you can’t trust the rest.

the sun ring hung boldly in the sky as we glided along in the sled behind the snowmobile, the four boys and me, and trent on the machine. we were all stunned by the light’s effort to break through the clouds. its brilliant strength. the way its struggle made the picture so fiercely breathtaking.

in a moment, the clouds would give way to the perseverance of the heat, and everywhere would be bright, but we don’t take pictures of the sun when it’s plain as day. because we can’t stand to look at it in all of its fullness.

so before that could happen, i asked trent to idle the snowmobile while i pulled my camera and shot this glimpse, and it’s much like God’s face, perhaps. his glory too fierce to see without the struggles of earth shielding us. it’s from behind the clouds of sorrow and depression and illness and disappointment that we catch evidence of his love, desperately pulling at the fleece trying to make itself known and it is this very effort, this intense longing by the Lord to touch earth that is so very breathtaking. that makes us stop, and stare, and wonder.

“i’m  here,” i call to joey from my chair, and he quiets.

soon he’s asleep. he just needed to hear my voice. to know he hadn’t been left again. to know that, in spite of the dark of his bedroom, somewhere, a light shone. making love, for all of its struggle, a picture of glory.