“Is Grandpa coming in to say goodnight?” I asked as I settled into bed. I was 10 years old and this was to be my first sleepover.
“He’s having a twilight rendezvous?” replied my Grandma with a smile.
“A twilight rendezvous? What’s that?” I asked with curiosity.
“Twilight is the time just after sunset and just before dawn. Your Grandpa says that these are the most wonderful times of the day,” explained Grandma. “The only regret he has about his life is the lack of time he has spent with God in prayer so he made a promise that in his twilight years he would set aside the twilight for God.”
“Now lay down and I will tuck you in. Sweet dreams.”
She switched off the lamp and my room was plunged into darkness. The shadows seemed to dance spookily around the room. I tried to sleep but I had never slept in a bed quite that big before. Of course I jumped into Mum and Dad’s big bed when I had a nightmare and the three of us together seemed to fill it right up, but on my own it felt ever so wide and long. I decided that I just could not stay there alone. I stole out of bed to see if I could hear whether God had showed up to meet with my Grandpa.
I remember creeping along the corridor and pausing at the doorway. I listened through the crack in the door for some time before pushing the door further open. I saw my Grandpa kneeling beside the bed with his gnarled arthritic hands resting on his open Bible and tears coursing down his cheeks. He didn’t see me standing there; it was like he was somewhere else. The room felt strange. It was as though someone important was there with him. It felt exciting and peaceful and happy and sad all at the same time. I didn’t want to leave the room. I perched on the chair next to the door and listened to his prayers. Time seemed to stand still and heaven seemed so close. It was though all the angels were leaning in so that they wouldn’t miss a word. I heard him say how much he loved God and was thankful for everything He had done for Him. He spoke about the difference He made in His life and how glad He was that he had met Him.
I heard him praying for lots of people by name and asking for God’s help and healing and joy and victory. He seemed to know a lot about people and what their needs were. This was the first time that I heard my Grandpa pray for me. He asked God to draw close and be there for my every need. The way he spoke to God about me showed how much he loved me and knew what I really needed. I had never heard things like this before and my heart was beating so fast. It was then that I noticed that I was crying. I couldn’t leave the room without doing something very important. I walked boldly across the room, knelt down beside my Grandpa and slipped my hand into his.
I raised my voice to God and said my first prayer which went something like this.
“Dear God, I want to know you like my Grandpa knows you. I want to spend time with you and learn more about you. I know I have done a lot of bad things but I am sorry and I hope that you will accept me as your friend.”
In the stillness and the peace that washed clean through me, I knew right there on my knees that I had met God and He accepted me. My Grandpa had introduced us and I am not sure who was crying and laughing more that night, me, my Grandpa, or the angels that had come to watch. My Grandpa called that night the ‘twilight of all twilights’.
We had a twilight rendezvous together on our knees with God a number of times before he died just two years later. My Grandpa introduced me to the tender, loving heart of God and taught me what true, earnest prayer looked like. His legacy goes on and so does the Twilight Rendezvous.
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