When I was a child we lived at 3725 Clinard Avenue. At that time, in the early eighties, the house was surrounded by about one acre of pure fun. The acre included flat spots for sports, hills for sledding, and a creek to get as wet as possible much to mom’s dismay. Each summer, when we were out of school, my older brother and I would make the most out of that backyard. Some days we were the Redskins and Cowboys, and of course I was John Riggins busting through the Dallas Cowboys defensive line. Other days we were adventurers looking for crawdads in the creek, while the next day we were nervously chasing snakes. Our dad grew up in the Dismal Swamp and was fearless when it came to catching a snake.
While we were out on our adventures each day, at some point our mom would open the front door and let out a piercing whistle that we could hear anywhere on the acre of fun. Mom’s whistle meant one thing, come to her inside. Normally, it meant lunch or dinner was ready, while at other times we needed to get our things ready to go for sports practice or church. We could be anywhere on the acre fulfilling our next Lewis and Clark mission, but when mom whistled you knew to come running. I recently was reminded of mom’s whistle while reading Zechariah 10 where God assured Judah and Israel they will be restored, because of his compassion. In verse 8 of chapter 10 the Lord said, “I will whistle for them and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as they were before.” Mom’s whistle always caught our attention and we responded. Sometimes the response was immediate other times we prolonged our adventure, but eventually made it inside the house. When God whistles his redeemed respond too. I’m grateful for a little verse of God’s whistle reminding me of a fond memory of my mom on Clinard Ave. I always wanted to whistle like my mom, but I’ve never been able to even come close.