So that was it. We were moving to the United States, and all we could take with us were our suitcases. Two per person. Thirty-something years of our lives condensed into 10 suitcases. I became a master packer, and my mother in law’s eyes spoke volumes as I unpacked at this side of the ocean. Not a single space was wasted. Even the big spaces underneath the duplo blocks got stuffed with lego. 😀
But still, many things had to stay behind, to be picked up later…or never. My wedding dress. Favorite toys. Knick-knacks. My ceramics.
There was one piece I couldn’t bear to part with, however, and with the utmost of care it became the focal point in the artful arrangement of my suitcase’s contents. Everything was packed just so…with the goal of keeping my favorite ceramic bowl safe and sound. I prayed fervently that the customs people wouldn’t get the notion in their heads to go and mess with the perfection that was my suitcase. 🙂
When we got here my bowl was honored with the best spot in the house, where I would often pass it and look on it with joy.
A year or two rolled by. I was still struggling to find my feet in a foreign land away from my friends and family. I had come to know loneliness, but in it, I had found a Friend who was always with me. I deeply appreciated the people that He had brought into my life to make it easier. Among them, was a young girl who freely offered her babysitting services even though she knew I could hardly afford to pay her.
My heart was sweet and tender before Jesus in those days, and when I felt him nudging me to give this young lady my bowl as a token of my appreciation, it wasn’t too hard to do. As time rolled by, however, I began to second-guess my decision to do so. Did she really know what a sacrifice it had been to give her my precious bowl? Will she treasure it like I would?
I felt worse about it when I unexpectedly dropped by at her house one day and saw my bowl in her room, cluttered with papers and what-nots. It was not a clutter-holder, it was a piece of art, my masterpiece, and it was meant to be displayed!
I must admit I had days when I regretted giving my bowl away after that. I wasn’t sure that I had done the right thing.
The young lady eventually married and moved away, and I haven’t seen much of her since. A few years ago, I ran into her at a wedding. As she hugged me, the first thing she whispered in my ear was: “I still have your bowl.” Her words ministered to my heart and gave me peace. And through them, I thought I heard the Lord whispering something to my heart.
Our Father gave me his masterpiece too. Do I realise how much it cost him to give his own son for me? Do I really treasure and value this precious gift…Jesus? Do I display him to the world, or do I tend to clutter him up with my junk?