We passed one house – a single story white bungalow with gray shutters and a glossy black front door – and I prevailed upon Dutch to park the car across the street. There was a little girl out front, maybe three or four, being pushed in a wooden swing by a man I assume was her father. Warm afternoon light filtered through the leaves of the trees, through the girl’s blonde hair, and over the rope handles she clung too so tightly, giving the whole scene a look of timeless incandescence. Through the large front window of the house I glimpsed a wooden dollhouse, a coat rack, the backs of chairs. A life. Their life.
And I wondered, could God give us a life here? A new life? Of course, He could, I thought. He can. Leaves – golden green, auburn, and orange – flitted slowly to the ground like benedictions, blessing the sidewalks, the manicured lawns, and, it seemed to me, the two of us where we sat, voyeurs beneath the reflective windshield. He is bringing us up from the desert, I thought, and though this new land is not Canaan, it is the land He has chosen for us. And that makes it a land of promise.