I have a friend (I’ll call him J) who attended his son’s birthday party in secret. I’ll call the son Jr. He is cared for in a group home because he is blind and severely developmentally delayed. His father did not speak a word while watching Jr. If Jr. had heard his dad’s voice he would have thought dad was there to take him home for a visit.
I ask J if his son has a sense of his birthday being a yearly occasion? But it is hard to say what Jr.’s “sense of time” is. Being blind from birth he has no experience with the light and darkness we know each day and night. We use that cycle to sort out our timelines and schedules. It would seem that Jr. just knows that sometimes there is more activity around him and sometimes less. The reasons for those schedules is probably a mystery.
Dad brought birthday cake, pizza, ice cream and a helium balloon for Jr. One of the staff told Jr. it was time to celebrate his birthday. The staff shared the food with Jr. and the other residents at the facility. J got to see how happy the food made his son. At one point, standing close in order to take pictures, J noticed that 31 year old Jr. was reaching across the table to investigate the click from the camera.
J plans to take his son home for the weekend soon. But at the birthday party he stayed silent and hidden from Jr.’s awareness. There wasn’t time for more. It wasn’t the right time for more.
My sister-in-law immediately recognized that J’s silence was kindness. He was avoiding raising hopes before they could be fulfilled.
I began thinking of how closely our Heavenly Father must watch over us, staying just as hidden the whole time. He’s there watching with loving eyes, bringing us gifts through the hands of others. He plans to bring us home with Him soon. But today He stays quiet, though close. It would be too difficult for us to understand why He is delaying announcing Himself otherwise. The Father hides himself until the time is right, until the time is fulfilled.
We are not forgotten by Him. We are eager to see Him. He is also eager. So He gives us gifts to show His love while we wait awhile longer to go home.