Several weeks ago our daughter Rebecca and her husband Dallas invited us to dinner on a Friday night. They’ve been married two years. In the middle of dinner, Rebecca said brightly, “I got Dallas a new white board for our home office. It covers the whole wall. I even put a green wood frame around it. Do you want to see it?”
Rebecca is the Director of Communications at First Presbyterian Church in Dallas. Dallas is a PhD student studying ethics at SMU writing a dissertation on Dietrich Bonhoeffer. It was not surprising to me that both of them were excited about a giant whiteboard that would be a location for communication and inspiration. I did not question why they would feel it necessary to interrupt the main course to show off their wall sized whiteboard. As one who loves to browse in office supply stores even when I don’t need anything, the prospect of seeing a whiteboard that covered a whole wall filled me with excitement and, I admit, a little bit of envy.
If my husband Murry thought there was anything odd about the interruption to dinner, he didn’t show it. Obedient guests, we got up from the table and followed daughter and son-in-law into their home office. My eyes took in the impressive width and height of the whiteboard and the dark green frame around it. Meanwhile, there were several things I did not notice. I did not notice the yellow balloons on the floor. I did not notice the tiny red onesie that said SMU pinned to the whiteboard. Only after about 40 seconds did I notice that there was something written on the middle of the whiteboard. “Due Date- November 17, 2013!”Then insight bloomed and I gave a “We’re going to be grandparents!” gasp.
I’m proud to say that only later did I think about potential sermon illustrations that might come from the pregnant pause before insight dawned. Something about how we are so busy looking at the frame we don’t see the picture? Or maybe a Christmas Eve sermon about the baby in the middle of it all. We found out last week the baby is going to be a boy. Maybe I should just be excited about his arrival and wait until he is born to start using him for sermon illustrations?