My cursor blinks at me against an empty white page like an orange traffic light at the dead of night. There is so much to say, but where to begin with so many heartfelt thanks, and how to express, with so much excitement, but not a big enough suit case to hold it all. I opened my suitcase and looked in. Not an inch of empty space, never mind the 150 piece-sized bucket of candy I held in my hands. I was already over my weight limit. I looked at the bucket and looked at my suit case, shrugged my shoulders, and dumped the entire bucket of loose candy into the nooks and crannies of my check in baggage. “It’s for the children,” I thought. A mist of cinnamon scented sugar balls seeped into my cloths and there they will stay until the California air finds them out.
That bucket of candies reminds me of a sermon I have continued to ponder from many weeks ago. It was a New Year’s sermon about priorities. I reflected on the mental screen shot of my notes from Pastor Don Willeman’s message. He said each of us has a bucket in life and what we put into that bucket first is often what we value the most. I reflected on my layers of “schtuff” and had to smile about the layers of shoes on the bottom of my bucket/suitcase. We all have issues in our prioritizing, mine just happens to be shoes.
Every couple hours I catch myself dreaming about what my eyes will behold. My mind lingers on the children. In my mind I expect hunger, beggary, longing, and even horrors beyond my imagination. I have no power to comprehend them right now. I have never lived outside of my home state. I am ready to be amazed, aghast, and challenged. These crisis-moments in life will either make us “bitter or better” as Pastor Willeman says. What we fear is what we will worship.
I spent several nights this week with darling children—little boys with brilliant minds, geeky ideas, and unquenchable enthusiasm.
My little friend and I sat across from each other by a warm fire. He gazed steadily into my face looking very serious. I looked back trying to read his young mind when he blurted out, “what do you fear the most?” and before waiting for an answer he looked down and said, “I fear losing my parents.” At that moment my heart wept.
I whispered back to him, “Guess what my little friend? Do you know what I fear very much?”
“I fear airports. I have only flown once before and I have to navigate my way on my own through two!”
He giggled disapprovingly at me as though I was too old to fear such things. “I love airports” he responded.
I half indignantly responded “Well, you get to travel with your mother…but you know what?” I continued with deeper love for this little guy, “we have a Father who always watches out for us wherever we are. He sees us when we sleep and when we walk around. God cares for us with more love than we could ever know on earth.”
With those big brown eyes he looked up and said, “I don’t believe in God.”
He rocked my world, and at six years old he proceeded to explain to me all the phases of evolution, and this material world that he was trained to see in a certain way. On the ride home I wept. I reflected on the innocence of this precious boy. I saw then how far we have come as a culture from truth. How blind we have become to the true Creator of creation, and to the harmonies and order in a seemingly simple phrase of Bach’s music. Where is truth, beauty, and goodness in the chance explosion of life explained by evolution?
I tucked away in my heart this little boy, for I believe a time will come when I must dig into the filing cabinet of these memories to speak the right words of love to others. Morning is coming and with the dawn of a new day, I will see the glorious rays of California sun. From Vermont to California and from California to Mexico!