And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” 

How can this not be one of the most wonderful, beautiful statements ever uttered by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ?   It has comforted me and encouraged me many times over.  The darkest time is no longer dark, but filled with the light of hope and love when I remember this promise.  I will never be alone, never without love and hope, no matter what this life brings.  I have repeated this to countless people suffering from tragedy, anguish, or fear.  I pray it brings them the comfort it does me.

This wasn’t Kennet’s first rodeo.
He knew what was coming!

Recently, it occurred to me that Jesus made this promise is not only for the diffiult times, but the happy ones too.  It was hearing “SPLAT!”  that did it.  It began with a funny game I brought back from the US to play with the medium boys called “Pie In the Face!”  It is a simple game.  You spin the dial and turn a crank the required number of times, your face positioned just right.  At a random moment, SPLAT!  You get hit in the face by whipped cream!  Hilarity ensues.  Very quickly, the game devolved into taking turns getting hit in the face.  Everyone had to participate!  

It was as funny the 50th time as it was the first time.  And who do you suppose laughed the hardest? I am sure it was Jesus, sitting there with us, holding his breath until Kennet, or any of us “lost” the game again, then bursting out laughing!

Then again, I heard a “SPLAT!”  This time it was a water balloon.  I don’t remember who the perp or the victim was but it didn’t matter because seconds later we had pandemonium.  Water balloons flying across the courtyard, children shouting with victory or laughing in defeat.  It was every man, woman, and child for themselves!  Then….(imagine foreboding music) the big guns came out.

There was Menguin, house dad for the big boys, standing in the middle of the courtyard swinging a hose over his head, promising all a well aimed spray!  That unleashed the more strategic warriors and the bowls and buckets appeared. Every faucet, placed for fire prevention, was going full force. Filling a constant supply of balloons, buckets, plastic cups and anything else that could hold water.  And who was in the middle of it, pointing out vulnerable victims, directing balloons to their target?  I am sure it was Jesus, whooping along with everyone else, laughing to see Menguin get his from a bucket from behind!

She is not innocently walking with a bowl!

I am sure Jesus threw that balloon at Menguin!

When Jesus promised to be with us always, he meant always and in every situation, including pie face and water wars.  I was filled with joy when I could see him there, face covered with whipped cream and hair dripping wet from a well placed balloon strike.  That is what love is…To cry with us, to struggle with us, to grieve with us, and to throw water balloons with us!  

As the child’s hymn goes,  

Jesus loves me, this I know

For the whipped cream is in my nose

  “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”