When we moved into our house, we were very fortunate that there was little that had to be done to make the house livable. We bought it on foreclosure and the bank had hired someone to fix it up. It wasn’t the best paint and carpet, but there was really nothing that had to be done immediately. So that left time to gradually upgrade the things that we wanted.
One thing that needed some Christmas time tweaking was the mantle. There were these six cup hooks under the mantle that were perfectly spaced out. Perfectly, that is, for hanging lights or some other decoration. But when you have three people as we did, the stockings were a little askew.
So off I went to Lowe’s to pick up some hooks. I needed them anyway for the lights outside. One hook in the center and our Christmas stocking arrangement was now aesthetically pleasing.
This worked well for a couple of years. But this year we had a beautiful blessing in our granddaughter. Time to add a stalking. So now we are up to four, but thanks to the original six hooks being evenly spaced, we were still looking good.
Our church’s Christmas service really spoke to our hearts this year. We have really enjoyed the rest and relaxation this season, but even with the beautiful new life in our house, there seems to be something missing. We can’t help but wonder where our kids are. Who are they? Are they safe, warm, fed and loved? Do they know that they are loved by us, even though we don’t know them yet? All of these questions endlessly circle through your mind along with, “When will they be here?!” So when our Christmas service centered around the concept of “Where is your home?” it was especially poignant. They had a small fireplace with a mantle the length of the stage that had hundreds of nails. Everyone received a little stocking with a card in it upon entering the sanctuary. At the end of the service they ended with the question, “Where is your home?” and an invitation to write your name on the card and hang it on the mantle. Rebekah and I walked up and hung our stockings and returned to our seats. I looked down and saw some extra stockings by the usher’s seat. Although we didn’t say anything, we were both thinking the same thing. I picked up a stocking and wrote on the card, “The three children that will come to be a part of the Lane family this year. “ I showed it to Rebekah and with tears in our eyes we walked up and hung that stocking right over the fireplace. It brought healing and peace to claim by faith the fact that our children will be here this year.
Back at home I was sitting in my chair looking at our fireplace with our four stockings hanging on our mantle. Reflecting on the fact that we have four instead of three stocking this year and how neatly they hung, I was also struck by the fact that there were hooks left to fill. Specifically, there were three hooks left. Three specific hooks for three specific children. When I added that extra hook that first Christmas in our house, I never would’ve thought we would need them all. But God did. He knew. And he knew that just like all of the other things that have fallen into place just perfectly, the things that seem not to matter but somehow point to Him and his plan, that these three empty hooks would be a reminder that He is not done. He will finish what he started. He will bring our children home.