Earlier this week, I mentioned to The Baby, “Don’t forget Jackson’s shorts are in your backpack.”

I chuckled to myself as I considered the context embedded in this comment. If my daughter were sixteen and had come home wearing her boyfriend’s  gym shorts, like Lucy, she would have had, “A lot of s’plaing to do!”

There are so many moments like when context is all. For example, when I texted a friend over the weekend, “Remind me to tell you the story behind why your son and my daughter are naked in the back seat of the truck,” her response was a great big giggle.  She even found the message humorous enough to share with the people that she was with at the time. Imagine a mom’s delight to boast her boy had been caught with his pants off in a girl’s SUV.

There was no shame nor recriminations simply because she knew by context it was all good. Needless to say, that the kiddos had just played on a muddy slide on the soccer field and were covered from their heels to the parts on the tops of their sweet, little heads in Virginia orange-hair-red clay, not to mention that her son is three and my girl is five, had everything to do with why it all good.

Smudged lipstick on my husband’s collar is merely a laundry issue if I find the stain the day after The Middle Girl’s class play.

When I heard The Boy exclaim, “Oh, man, it’s so engorged!” to his friend as they gamed on his play station from the boy bunker downstairs, I hit the pause button. I understood he had described his buddy’s Hires rootbeer and pepperoni pizza-bloated gut, not his groin.

Context is all in communication and relationship.

There has been much embedded context in how my community has responded to the possibility of our family’s relocation. On every level, I have been humbled and surprised.

An unexpected benefit to the ambiguity of our family plan is that it has distilled to me the quality of those I loved and am fortunate to be loved by in return. It has brought what we have here in this time and place into sharp, clear focus.

Though the passageway to here has been moist and uncertain, a bold guard of friends as loyal as Marines encapsulate me. They walk this wall with me. Though they have seen me trip and falter, they got my back, and will not leave me behind or alone.

Likewise, I am as aware of the flavor of each in my circle as if I had done the Science experiment The Middle Girl just came home raving about Wednesday. Her class was instructed to pinch close their noses tightly and then chew jelly beans for ten seconds. After ten seconds passed, they were directed to unpinch their noses. The Middle Girl was simply baffled by how much more vibrantly she could taste the flavor and sweet of the jelly bean when enhanced by her sense of smell.

I feel like I am in the middle of analogous conditions. Just as the sense of smell scaffolds taste, so does transition fortify strongholds.

No one has died.
Nothing is broken.
No one is sick.

There is now no actual loss, yet the context enhances my every relationship as we wait upon the Lord to clarify our family’s call.

The people that I love appear more vibrant to me now. I revel in their beauty against the canvas of my life. I appreciate the flavor and sweetness of each heart more clearly.

I am more aware of who we are to each other in relationship.

You all know I didn’t volunteer for this tour.

I was drafted.

However, I am amazed that even before He has made His will clear, God has borne fruit from this situation in our lives and relationships.

And even if it all goes wrong,
I’ll stand before the Lord of song,
with nothing on my tongue
but Hallelujah.
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah,
Hallelujah, Hallelujah!