My eyes stung and I could feel my throat getting scratchy. Oh Lord, I don’t have time to be sick. We just finished a week of Vacation Bible School and I’m up to teach Kids Worship this (Sunday) morning. Friday we leave for Family Camp and I’ve got to finish lesson planning for that.
But no amount of lists or medicine could stop the fact that my brain was overtired and shutting down from its lack of sleep. I suppose these past few weeks (though good) were telling my body – and, my soul – it’s time to rest.
Sunday afternoon, once lunch guests had said their last goodbyes, I read a message and learned I was gifted with a week. A week to stay at home to ‘work and rest’. My boss didn’t know I wasn’t feeling well so I knew this was God’s way of saying, “Here is a gift. Except it. Don’t drive to the church.” Because He knew I would have.
Monday morning brought a sore throat and my head felt as if it had grew two sizes from being tossed around like a beach ball. I was grateful for the gifted week. Cough drops and tea saved the day and by lunch I was feeling much less like a slug.
Janie and I had planned to have lunch at the nursing home around noon with her husband and some other residents; after our 4th of July gathering, we were to go antiquing. With my not feeling well, I was informed I didn’t have to go lunch and we didn’t have to go adventuring into old barns with old objects. But when you are gifted with a week, it doesn’t matter how blah you feel, you make the most of it. Or, that was my philosophy.
So we went.
We ate dinner with folks who have lived life longer than my age doubled (some even tripled). From there we drove to an antique place in a town I don’t remember the name and I was whisked back in time. There were old photos and family heirlooms. There were coffee pots and radios used during the era of the Waltons. There were hats from decades ago and I, trying many on, giggled at the styles long outdated. There were dolls made of glass and checker boards made of chipped wood. There were rocking chairs I knew rocked many babies to sleep. And there were old telephones I picked up to say hello and typewriters in which I pushed every letter.
There were hundreds of dusty books and countless unwritten stories.
My eyes touched anything it could see and I blew my nose when no onlookers could make disgusted faces. No, no matter how blah I was feeling, I wasn’t going to let that stop me from time traveling to an age in which I didn’t exist.
Then I saw it. The trunk of all trunks. The chest of all chests. I opened it. I closed it. I traced its design with my hands and read its years. 1860’s-1870’s. It wasn’t in mint condition though it was mint in color. It wore its history through chipped paint and rust stains, but it was beautiful and perfect for the future I had in store for it.
“Janie,” I said, “I found the one I can’t live without.”
Within minutes, for forty-five dollars, I owned that history. And as I carried my newest gem out of the barn, others who were lost in the history of antiques made remarks on how beautiful it was. I couldn’t help but smile proudly at my treasured find. I knew just where it was meant to be placed and am anxious to begin filling it with the best of things.
I can’t help but think that that is how God sees His children. As treasured finds whom He carries with pride.
Today my nose runs but so do my eyes as the Father uses a trunk and its history to speak to me, “I found the one I can’t live without.” Me? Me with my non-brushed hair and breathe that tastes like cough syrup. Really? Me? “Yes.” Yes. Me and all my imperfections. A little rusty and a bit chipped, yet beautiful and perfect for the future He has in store. That is a wonder and a gift. And it doesn’t matter how blah I feel, I don’t want to waste these gifted moments.
Lastly friends, we are all the one. The one He carries with pride because His power is made perfect in our weaknesses [2 Corinthians 12:9]. There is no shame in our wear and tear, but rather there is grace for our history and hope for our futures. He carries us with purpose and fills us with the best medicine in the world. Christ. He fills us and knows just where we are meant to be placed, as if to say, “My treasured find, here is a gift. Except it.”