Kendal’s Horn

Answering Kendal’s horn became our code. We’d pause conversations and mouthfuls of dinner to reply.

My friend Kendal and his precious wife live on our street. Maybe 20 houses sit between theirs and ours.

Kendal is in his sixties, I think—not that anyone could ever believe it after spending more than 10 seconds with him. Jesus is a fountain of youth in Kendal’s mystic heart. He is the oldest kid and youngest adult I know.

I have a lot of favorites, but Kendal is one of them.

I don’t remember exactly when Kendal began the habit of briefly tooting his car horn when he drove by our house. But over time it just became part of our normal: at any hour of the day or night, a friendly honk as the hum of his car passed our street-nested home.

Our kids loved it. We’d hear the beep and you’d hear Helman voices from all over the house hollering, “Hi, Kendal!”  It was Dax who one day added the “Hi Kendal and Mary!” upgrade.

Answering Kendal’s horn became our code. We’d pause conversations and mouthfuls of dinner to reply. You’d hear “Hi, Kendal and Mary!” over the soundtrack of a movie and in the echos of the bathroom.

It became so special in my heart.

A few months ago, I heard Kendal’s horn while in the kitchen and I felt my heart answer before my mouth could even process the response. My inaudible heart reached out affectionately: Hi Kendal. And just as quickly, I felt our hearts connect, like somehow Kendal felt my love for him in that moment. I mentioned it to him a few days later and his response to me was so normal, as though my perceptions were obvious: I felt it, he said.

That’s how I’ve been answering Kendal’s horn for a while now–in my heart. He passes our home with his signature horn (we all know its tone apart from every other horn) and my heart responds.

Tonight, Kendal’s horn sounded as he passed by, and my heart expanded again: Hello Kendal. I love you.

And I don’t have to ask if it’s true that I heard him in reply. I know I did. I had a real moment in the heart of my brother, who I love, and who loves me.

I can’t describe the deep respect, affection and strength in those brief seconds.

Kendal’s precious, habitual horn has had a surprising side effect. What began as a simple greeting has developed into a training ground for my spirit. When Kendal beeps, I began to imagine him saying: Hi. I’m here. For me, this became a breadcrumb trail of sorts in teaching my heart to recognize the moment of opportunity.

To recognize the sound of Kendal’s heart inside the Father’s Spirit. Imagine responding even more powerfully: We bless you! We are with you! or maybe another day, we might sense a burden and be able to immediately be in action: We see your heaviness. We will carry it with you today. Father, here in Kendal’s heart, may your grace overflow…

Jesus asked the Father to help us become one. Literally ONE like the Father and Jesus are. That’s an extremely interwoven existence. Imagine the resources of love that will flow between us as we become knit like that. Growing up into Him who is the Head, who is seated at the right hand of the Father. Operating in submission and honor of one another in every moment. One body, one spirit, one hope, one faith, one Lord…

I want to find other “car horn” experiences by which to train my heart to communicate in this way more regularly in other relationships. To find little connection points that help me begin to recognize their heart when they pass by.

And in passing by, connected to.

Until we no longer need the car horn at all.

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