My Father’s World

I took a little trip this morning and had a God-sized adventure at the local laundromat. It has been ever so long since I was there in that kind of place. In fact I was a carefree child when last I was there.

I wanted/needed to wash the comforter on my bed and for weeks now, I have hemmed and hawed about getting the deed done. I excused myself from my responsibility by using my physical limitations as a reason to sit here and be lazy. I allowed all manner of things that “might happen” to keep me from doing what needed to be done to take care of what I have been given to enjoy.

To the laundromat this morning I did go and lo behold, wouldn’t you know? A young lad came out to greet me and carried that queen-sized overstuffed comforter, washing detergent and step-stool in for me. To the coin changer I waddled off and before I could grow whiny from its nonresponse, the owner of the facility did come in. He loaded me up with four dollars of change and at the maxi load washer did the young lad and I work together, to shut the door on that machine.

I stood on the step-stool and filled the dispenser and dropped the quarters into the slot provided. The young lad’s name was Gabriel and like an angel, he showed me the error of my ways that I needed to push the buttons harder. The washer still would not start and being the damsel in distress, I beckoned the owner again to come over. He jiggled the handle on the front load machine to lock it more securely and then did the washer do its thing!

The older lady working in the next aisle is the one who told Gabriel which machine I should use. She sat down with me after her loads were begun and we began to have a chat as though we do this all the time. Her face was weathered by hard labor and time; her teeth showed neglect and were misshapen. The story she shared was not uncommon and was littered with pain and struggles in life. Her granddaughter was in the hospital now at ten years of age with a burst appendix. Just months ago this same child was rushed to the hospital for an episode of seizures. This time the child had seized for over 40 minutes of time; the seizures began quite some time ago after a car crash rendered her with brain trauma. This older lady also told me of her husband who worked two jobs, one of which is cleaning a church. She herself worked as well and it just so happens that their washing machine no longer worked. To the laundromat she must go and then she returns home to dry all her clothes. Because of the illness of the grandchild, she hadn’t been able to do her laundry in a couple of weeks’ time. As she loaded her next to last basket into the washer, she accidentally inserted one too many coins. This would make her short for her very last load and she was ever so grateful for that one thin coin that I gave her.

After she left, it was just young Gabriel and I. You may find this surprising, as did I. You see this young man did not to that older woman belong; he was a wanderer on his own. He knew how to operate each piece of equipment and he was vigilant to offer assistance, encouragement and cheerfulness wherever he could. From what the older woman told me, he was hoping to make money but not once did I hear him ask or beg or suggest payment for his assistance. He hovered over me with protective pride and so I began a gentle prodding to learn of his story. He is 14 years old and he is excited about when he will turn 16; it is then he will be able to get a job. He lives close by and rode there today on his bike; it is no “ordinary” bike, it is “extraordinary”.

He says there was no one at home missing him and that he might hang out a bit longer today there in the laundromat. He also stated he has ADHD and without medication, it takes over his life. It bothers him greatly that the condition controls him and then I assured him, that he managed it well with me today. He beamed with pride when I praised him for helping me and that I would have been lost and struggling without him today. Another secret did he share with me and that is he was born with a hole in his heart and has always been weak. He carried out his self-appointed duties to the very end and walked with me to the car and shoved the freshly-laundered comforter in. I drove away with a tender smile and teary eyes for that reminder today was long overdue. I live in my Father’s world and it is HE Who takes care of me. I came close to wasting away an opportunity to step outside my safety zone and home of comfort all because of lame excuses and pebbles of pride. But boy did I hear HIS laughter of joy and pleasure as I drove back toward my home again.

As I rolled down the highway feeling light hearted and content with pleasure, what greeted me at home when I arrived? A fresh-cut lawn with attention to detail, a yard full of thick green grass. The couple who serves me in this endeavor was pulling away in their big blue truck and trailer. We exchanged greetings and such through lowered windows, each in our own vehicle with the air conditioners blasting. My Father’s plans for me are good and HIS love for me is everlasting. HE reminds me often of how much I mean to HIM and if I had hid within my little world today, then I would have missed out on HIS custom-designed nuggets of treasure.

The Aquamarine Tiara

In another time and place, oh so very long ago, I walked the streets of a small town in the United Kingdom. My time, money and strength were limited and monitored, even my free time, and so not far could I roam.
 
Even though I was there in obedience to an almighty and all-knowing God, my heart often longed for beauty, simplicity, freedom and love. When possible I would slip away on the bus to a nearby two-story shopping mall. There I would have access to an electric scooter for the day and be reminded of the simplicity and freedom of “driving”.
 
In the middle of the mall there was a kiosk which sold all sorts of bright and brilliant accessories for brides and debutantes on their special day. On impulse I bought a tiara, handmade with stones of the palest of blue. The keeper of the shop was ever so kind and carried on as if I were a bride, even though we both knew differently.
 
That tiara for quite a while has been kept packed away and out of sight along with other trinkets from that time and place. Indeed, life has taken many twists and turns since then; often my dreams and hopes, too, have been buried and shunned from light.
 
In recent years when God brought me to the doors of HIS Glory House and handed me the keys and said to occupy, that tiara has been recovered from its burial site. Since then it has been on display for a gentle reminder that I am HIS bride.
 
In recent months there has been reason to believe that, to my surprise and others too, that I may one day be an earthly man’s bride. My thoughts have been buzzing with possibilities for that special day and much research and potential options have been pursued. It came to my attention that that tiara with its palest of blue stones has become a bit tarnished over time and so a day was spent cleaning and polishing to revive its shine.
 
A simple wedding I am hoping for and so my initial thoughts were that that tiara could not be used but alas, my God has given me a creative mind. Lo and behold, if I am to have a marriage ceremony to my groom with me as his bride, that tiara can be used! With tears of wonder and awe toward my almighty and all-knowing God, I look every day at that tiara with pride. I’ve added bits of garnet for personal reasons, especially for the one who may become my groom.
 
It was just yesterday that my almighty and all-knowing God brought to my attention that the aquamarine stones of that tiara purchased one hot summer day in 2001 or 2002 just happen to be the birthstones for the one who may become my groom.