I have an official interpretation for my dream.
It came to me as I was standing in the middle of the road, watching the taillights of a newer model, compact car I’d never seen before recede into the distance.
Well, not then exactly. At that point, all I was really feeling was a crushing sense of failure.
My daughter was in that car. In her homecoming dress, with her hair carefully curled, and I can only assume, dressed to the nines.
I don’t know, because I wasn’t here to see her off.
I was across the street with my boys in the apple orchard.
It wasn’t that I’d forgotten tonight was the homecoming dance; that fact was brought forcefully to my attention when I pulled in after class at 3:45 and realized I hadn’t picked up the boutonnière from the floral shop that closes at 3:00 pm. Fortunately, the florist was a compassionate soul. When I called the store in a panic,owner said he’d hold the doors open a bit longer. (Three cheers for Moses Lake Florist in the Garden!)
I brought the little bitty thing home and deposited it in the fridge. I ventured into the holy sanctuary of the bedroom from whence the smell of singed hair emanated and made small talk with the teenage friends. Not too much, but enough to exchange the essentials: including the fact that she would be leaving at 5:15.
And then I just… forgot. Forgot what I was wandering around the house waiting for. Forgot why I wasn’t starting dinner just yet, or running to the store for milk until later. I forgot–to meet my daughter’s first date. To see her in her dress, and the final product of the session with the curling iron.
And when I remembered, I was too late—-all eight weeks of long distance training aside, I could not sprint up the hill fast enough to beat that little green car out of my driveway. (Where, by the way, according to those who were home, it had been sitting for quite some time.)
I was left, panting, in the middle of the asphalt, with leaves in my hair and guilt settling like a stone in my gut.
(I considered crashing the photograph session down at the Japanese gardens, but I figured that might be a little bit stalker-Momish.)
The momstone got heavier as the evening progressed. My youngest son wanted to attend his cousins’ baptism and having nothing left at home to hold me, we went early. As I sat there in the chapel, listening to the prelude music, it hit me: I missed her first date. Her first real dance. I missed it. MISSED. It won’t ever happen again.
It wasn’t exactly the best situation to break down in heartbroken sobs, either.
I did a lot of wide-eyed blinking and deep breathing. And what ifs.
Maybe I’m overreacting, but I was about as waterlogged as I’ve ever been.
And then I realized this:
The water wasn’t turned into wine because there was anything extraordinary about the water. The water wasn’t turned into wine because it would make the water happier. The water was turned into wine because God saw a need to be filled, and there was no other way to fill it. The water wasn’t extraordinary; the need was. And God filled it.
And that is the promise.
No matter how sub-par my parenting is–no matter how watered down my efforts might be, God will recognize important needs. He will fill them. He will make my water enough. More than enough. He will make the noblemen raise their glasses in astonishment at its savor. In some inexplicable way he will change it into something more fitting, and the celebration will go on.
Not because of anything extraordinary about me or my efforts, but because he loves those who I am attempting to serve, all of my life.
On my own merits, I have nothing but water to offer. I will always be forgetful, absentminded, thoughtless.
But I know this: If you really need the best sort of wine, from God’s hands, you’ll receive it in spite of me.
And I’m okay with that.