“I’ll Come Again!”

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

“Even if it’s Small”

When I awake in the morning, I sometimes have this feeling in my bed, “Oh, it has snowed, hasn’t it?”  There’s a little bit of brightness than usual, and that feeling of quietness is only felt when there’s snow on the ground.  I used to look forward to the snow when I was a child.  “What should I do today?”  It still remains as a pleasant memory in my mind when classes used to be suddenly switched to playing on school grounds with the snow.  However, circumstances slightly differ when you become an adult.  Is my commuting train running?  Do I need to plow the snow?  Worries come before anything.  In actuality, there had been a record high snowfall in Karuizawa five or six years ago.  The scenery outside became more of a concern rather than beautiful overnight.  Actually, there was a stretch of trucks not being able to drive over the mountain pass and people were not even able to go outside of their houses.  As soon as snow was in the state of lull, everyone started snow shoveling to let the snowplows through.  This took quite a while.  Children were beginning to play in the piled-up snow.  Even though their hands and faces were red from the cold, children were sleigh-riding with cardboard boxes and making igloos.

As I was looking at the faces of children playing, and Just when snowplowing was about to finish, I happened to notice the fallen snow on my clothes.  Usually, I would just brush off the snow without even thinking, but on this particular day, the snow had caught my eye.  I was able to see the snowflakes clearly.  It was my first-time with such an experience.  Having seen the snowflakes, I remembered reading as a university student an essay about snow written by a physicist, Ukichiro Nakaya.  In the middle of the cold weather, several kinds of snowflakes seen under the microscope were depicted and the writing said, “Snow is a letter from heaven.”  I feel that a letter from heaven is also a letter from God.  Sometimes there are soft words, and other times there are harsh words.  It might just be the receiver’s selfish thought that one feels the words are harsh.  There may be times when you feel the words are harsh due to various unwanted ties from one’s current position.  In any matter, God has thrown us letters and has continued to send them to us.  Have we accepted those letters?  Have we just gone through the ones that are convenient for us?  I need to reflect on myself.

Even though “each letter from heaven” is small, it can entirely cover the world overnight.  The work of each one of us might be small, but isn’t it the continuation of our work that is important?  Not just keeping the words of God in the Bible, but I want to show it in the works of everyday life. 

Through the letters of God, I pray that there will come a day when this world be covered with light.  And, as for it to be covered with light, I want to walk together with the church.  Snow disappears with the coming of spring.  Without erasing the words of God, I will continue waiting patiently.

Revd Francis Kazuaki Enatsu
Ueda St. Michael and All Angels’ Church