We all know the anatomy of a heart.
We can name or point to major arteries and valves on a diagram.
However, every once in a while a part of the heart that is not on a diagram is seen.
That part, which is never labeled on a diagram is your heart strings.
We forget we have heart strings until something tugs at them.
We forget that they are an important part of our heart until we feel the warmth they exude.
Our heart strings are there and may even lay dormant until that one day.
One day, you will feel them as never before.
I got the text in the afternoon.
A sweet friend wanted to know if I was free to talk.
I was free.
We went back and forth a bit, since it was almost dismissal time for her children.
It was decided that she would call me that evening.
A little while later, some time opened up for her and she wanted to see if I was free.
I prayed, since I had no idea what she wanted to talk about.
The call came as I sat in my favorite chair.
Every year, the kindergarten class has grandparent’s day, she began.
Since both sets of grandparents are away in another state, I have to ask you a question.
If a grandparent cannot come that day, the child can bring a special friend.
Would you like to be my son’s special friend?
It was then that my heart strings made themselves known.
It was then that my heart strings generated warmth all across my chest.
My smile, that could not be seen through the phone, was ear to ear.
It is an honor to be asked, I told her, I would love to be his special friend that day.
This will give me practice for being a grandmother, I admitted.
She teased me about getting ready to be a grandmother soon.
You’re skipping the infant stage and going right to kindergarten, she said.
I am so honored that he wants me to come, I said, the heart strings till tugging.
I know this mom and her son.
This family is very special to me.
This young boy comes with his mother to Bible study in my home.
That is how I got to know him and how he got to know me.
As we were about to end our call, my kindergarten friend got on the phone.
Thanks so much for coming to my class, he said with his cute little voice.
I can’t wait, I said and meant it.
I put the date and the time on my calendar.
Two days after the sweet invitation, I saw this special little boy on our Bible study day.
All the women were here, some at my kitchen table, some at my island, some on folding chairs.
I was standing where I usually stand to teach.
This little boy and his mom always head to the basement first.
The children play downstairs while their moms are in Bible study.
This day, the basement could wait.
This day, he handed me a piece of green paper.
As I looked down at the paper, I saw that it was my formal invitation.
I hugged him and thanked him again.
He headed towards the basement stairs with his mom.
I explained the entire story to the women, admitting how very touched I was to be asked.
Unbeknownst to me, the sweet little boy was standing in my foyer listening to every word.
I heard a giggle.
Come over here, I said getting down to his level.
I hugged him and kissed him on the head.
He skipped away ready to play downstairs.
Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. (Isaiah 54:2)
I have raised five children.
They are my joys.
They are now grown.
This is the time to stretch my tent curtains wide.
It is time to invest in other children, not to raise them but to love them.
It is time to open my home to those children and their mothers.
It is time to be an encouragement.
It is time to say, Yes, to a special invitation.
That is community.
That is one-anothering.
That is enlarging the place of your tent for the benefit of others.
That is pleasing to God.
I cannot adequately put into words how precious the invitation is to me.
That sweet little boy left Bible study a little early that day.
He walked into my kitchen but did not want to interrupt the other women.
You can get your candy, I said, knowing that he always goes to Mrs. Gallagher’s candy drawer.
He walked past the other women and chose his candy before he left.
All the women were smiling at his sweetness.
Thank you again, for asking me to be your special friend, I said again.
If my grandmothers can come…he began but I did not let him finish.
If your grandparents can come to Grandparents Day, you must go with them, I told him.
But if they cannot come, since they live far away, I will be there with you, I promised.
He smiled from ear to ear.
He ran into the foyer to put on his shoes.
And my heart strings tugged.