The Whistle That Drew Us Home Then — And Will in the Future
Growing up on North Scott Street in Adrian was awesome! I always tell people that we lived in “the greenhouse with the driveway that goes down.” This is the home that contains most of my childhood memories. My mother took that home and transformed it into a haven for family and friends to gather. I miss that house and those years of growing up there. Remembering my life then, centered around family and our friends, gives me comfort today.
Back in those days, my siblings, friends, and I played outside most days. Our television privileges were limited and that was okay by me. Oh, the games we would play: capture the flag, kick the can, hide and seek, any game with a ball, and, my most favorite, war!
Our backyard extended north and south to many other adjacent properties. Fortunately, our neighbors didn’t mind us turning their yards into our own playing fields.
To play our war games, we would pick sides, including many kids who showed up, and then it was simply divided and conquer. There were so many hiding places and ways to gain a strategic advantage over our adversaries. Bringing my secret G.I. Joe passion to war on North Scott Street from inside the house out into the “field” was the ultimate victory!
We would be outside for hours. Mother wasn’t concerned (or at least I didn’t think she was).
Maybe she would, on occasion, peek out the window to get a glimpse
of one of us, but other than that we were on our own. There was a cool sense of freedom in that.
If we needed a snack or a drink, we were always close to home base. If we took rations (homemade cookies or brownies) into the “battlefield,” for some reason, they tasted all the better.
But when it was time for lunch or dinner, we would hear Dad whistle from the back porch (usually twice), and we would come running. If he had to whistle again, he would often state at the table, “When you hear the whistle, you come.” We got the message. I could pick that whistle out of a million — it is still familiar to me now, even after all these years.
A short time ago, I read in Zechariah about how our Lord will whistle for His people to return to Israel. I can imagine that this particular whistle will corral the chosen people of God back from around the world where they have been dispersed. This whistle will be familiar.
God’s people will know it fully.
“I will whistle for them to gather them together, for I have redeemed them; And they will be as numerous as they were before.”
— Zechariah 10:8. Like Dad’s one-of-a-kind whistle which alerted us to return home, so too will be the whistle of Christ to summon the children of God back home to the Holy City.
With everything happening
in the world today, we can be confident that the Scriptures will be entirely fulfilled.
If it is any consolation, the Israelites will intrinsically understand when they hear the Master’s utterance for what that means for them personally. They will know emphatically after this important directive that it is indeed time to gather. Their numbers will be enlarged and strengthened once again.
I pray that we obediently and immediately will respond when we hear this familiar sound and may we all be thankful for the whistles of life that draw us together.