She ran in from school with a handful of happiness. They could have been a birthday gift – they were so perfect. She was so proud.
As she walked home from school on that breezy autumn afternoon, she watched the asphalt pass underfoot. Raspberry flavored dogwood leaves, umber tinted tulip tree fronds and deep, rust pine needles decorated her path.
….when she passed under a towering Oak.
We have the brand of oak in our yard
that shares tiny acorn gifts.
THIS fruit was huge. With a nickel size cap, she knew I would be thrilled. She safely cradled her treasure in the deep, protective pocket of her jeans … squirreling away a few more nuts while hurrying home with a pleased grin spread wide across her face.
As she pulled out her present,
her jewels from nature
excitement beamed and twinkled from her sapphire eyes.
“look what I brought you, mama,” she whispered …
eyes sparkling, hands cupped before her.
She was so proud. Because she KNEW that I would love her gift.
She knows my heart … and she knew this gift ….
especially this large acorn .. was more than just a piece of fruit from a tree.
It was more than a year’s worth of growth
…. more than a cup, cotyledon and radicle
… more than thousands and thousands of future acorns, leaves, bark and limb
tied up in the meat and covering of a small nut.
To some, it is yard litter … tree debris ….
even a stumbling block if stepped upon with bare feet
or upon a slippery drive.
But, this girl …. she knows my heart
and she knew that
THIS little gift would make me smile
make my heart swoon and sing.
This ordinary acorn … of extraordinary size by OUR standards
would be a wonder.
So, she tucked it away and brought it to me
… an offering.
And the parallels ring loud in my mind.
There is the excitement in my mom’s heart that
she knows the importance of giving a gift
that the receiver would deeply desire.
Will she ask herself what gifts she can bring to God?
Will she wonder how she can please Him with
what appears to be ordinary
but will make Him sing?
Will she have a desire in her ♥ to WANT to please Him?
Will she know Him well enough to KNOW what He will consider a sweet offering?
And the parallel of how, if we are not watching,
we can walk the habitual way
doing the ordinary thing
one foot in front of another
and miss the beautiful, the extraordinary,
gifts that are under our feet
that might otherwise be trampled upon
-that might even make us stumble –
if we weren’t watching and paying attention ….
listening to His Spirit.
And that which looks like
in the eyes of the beholder,
can be beauty,
even nourish the right soul.
I love the saying
Anybody can count the number of seeds in an apple,
but only God can count the number of apples in a seed.
Sturdy and strong. Hard wood. Burns hot when on fire. Food for some souls. Habitat for others. Branches are rugged. Roots are deep. Provides shade and shelter for many. Its flesh, the foundation for much of our living …. our homes, furniture … even the paper upon which we write. Lowers electric bills if they tower above a cottage. Provide sound barrier from noise pollution. Hardy against pests. Air cleansing. Calms the spirit simply by its presence. And don’t even fight when their lives are threatened. Stand tall, stoic and quiet to the end.
So, I placed her little gift into a cup on the mantle …
a lone, pedestaled dessert dish of amber that I picked up second hand.
And as I glance there off and on through the day, I remember her ….
her gift … and excitement ….
her attention to my passionate love of trees
that caused her to pick up debris as she walked along the way
because she knew that
what was ordinary to one
would be a gift to me.
Oh, than I would scan the horizon,
watch under foot,
and search my days
to find the gift
in each moment of the ordinary
that I might offer it up to Him
and make Him smile.
May the Spirit lead me so.