I remember long ago, in the bright days of summer, word spread throughout the neighborhood.... we were invited, every one of the kids, to be part of the 4th of July parade. What excitement there was, as we gathered in groups, to plan how to decorate our bikes...for they would be our rides. How carefully we planned, should it be this color or that, or maybe two or three.... the anticipation was building, our impatience was too, and we pestered our parents for the supplies to transform our ordinary bikes into magnificent roaring machines.
At last the day came.... and kneeling by my bike, I threaded the crepe paper in and out - over and under each spoke, the colors I wove, so pleased at the lovely sight. Long streamers came next…taped to the ends of the handlebars...I could just imagine how they would look, streaming out behind in the breeze.
The final detail, the most important of all, was to carefully attach playing cards, folded ever so carefully around just the right spoke, held in place with wooden clothespins. One was good, but if you did it just right.... two would make much more noise, and with just a little imagination added in, it would sound just like a huge motor. Then it was done...this colorful bike, this magnificent riding machine.... but now I had to wait...and it seemed like days, till it was time, the time appointed for the parade.
I felt like that, before I met you.... like I'd been waiting for the day.... for the day that my dreams would come true. As time passed, He showed me so gently, that some of my decorations were all wrong.... the things that were important weren't on the bike at all, and some that were needed to be gone.
He was with me all through this time of changing, He gave me new streamers to add...He helped me weave new hope and trust over and under the spokes of my heart…and attached to the handlebars were new streamers floating free, ones made of prayer and grace...and at last He saw that now I was ready, ready to join in His parade.
We took our bikes that long ago day, and when we reached the gathering place, we were overjoyed to see that we were placed first, we'd be the first ones people would see. Then the music started up, and we rode off in the sunshine, and I thought I would burst with sheer joy...leading that parade, streamers flying, colors whirling.... I thought it was the happiest I'd ever be!
And when God took my hand to bring me to His parade, He brought me to where I should be...and there you stood, with arms outstretched, waiting just for me. We'd join His parade together, we'd ride hand in hand, following Him every day...and the joy I'd felt that long-ago day.... even though it was lovely and true.... faded into a shadow, tucked into my heart, replaced by the joy of loving you!
I can see those streamers flying (much like the banner of the Lord that flies over your head today) and hear the sound of those cards. More importantly, I can see the look of absolute joy in your eyes and the huge smile on your face. I can feel your chest exploding with pride. Yes, the idea of joining HIS parade is worth great celebration. Another touching article, Trish. You just keep pulling my heartstrings, over and over and over. God bless you.