Together with the work of church, there is also work at the kindergarten. “Good morning!,”
“Long time no see, dad,” and “Thank you mom for coming to pick up your child up,” are scenes of children when arriving and leaving from the kindergarten. We enjoy the chatting with family members and do our best to be at the gate as often as possible. Among them are families who come to pick up their children a little late. These are within ten minutes, and children call this a “chat time with the principal!” and it has become the usual pattern for the two of us to sit on the bench and chat. The topic of the chat is based on what we like; one day will be on the kind of animals; another day will be on food, TV programs or movies, and so on. Then we expand on our conversation from there.
Then one day, the child said to me, “I’m so anxious.” And said the same thing for consecutive days. So, I asked the child, “Why are you anxious?” and the child answered, “Because mom is coming to pick me up soon.” The child feels this way because the child believes the mother is coming no matter how late it will be. Even if the child has to wait by oneself, I feel the reason the child can keep waiting with a smile is because one believes the mother will come. It has become standard and widespread that people have mobile phones and smartphones. Even if we are meeting, it is now a time where we do not have to be definite about the meeting place and time. It was never this way before. We needed to check the meeting place and time beforehand, and if we still could not meet up, we either gave up or there was a message board at the station. The content of the messages on these boards were often funny. It also said that these messages would be erased as time passes. In this way, just taking the case of meeting up shows a drastic change with the times. However, the only change is just the way of meeting up, and the feeling of wanting to meet probably has not changed with the times.
There is a season of waiting within the church year as well. Not only Christmas, but Easter also awaits Jesus to come. And we continue to wait for Jesus to come to this world again. With what kind of feeling do we wait? I wonder if we would be waiting anxiously just like this boy, or somehow just waiting? When I was in elementary school, I remember being nervous and restless at home alone because my parents would come home late. As I got older and in cases where I had to stay home alone, there were times when I would go to sleep early thinking that my parents would be home soon or at least in the morning. I would fall asleep trying to escape from anxiety. I feel that this child has taught me once again the joy of waiting. I was also taught to believe in being able to meet.
Then, the child waves one’s hand when leaving and say, “See you” and would hop into the car with mom. Believing we would see each other again tomorrow morning, I wave back saying “Come again.” I cannot help smiling. I would like to be a person, who is able to say “Come again” to Jesus and continue to wait anxiously.
Revd. Francis Kazuaki Enatsu
Ueda St. Michael and All Angels’ Church