This is our treasure box.
It’s not an old treasure box but a relatively new one. It was given to us near the end of 2008, the terrible, horrible, no good,very bad year, and it was given to us by friends.
In June of that year, we were swept away by the first wave of the unemployment tsunami that would become known as The Great Recession. With a stroke of a pen and a mechanical phone call, the husband’s job was eliminated, and we became one of them.
When we lost his job that Wednesday afternoon, we lost more than our single income and benefits. We lost any naïve sense of self- sufficiency. What we didn't lose was our faith. Rather, it flourished, and we learned the simple art of trusting God and appreciating the hands of His provision.
Like a mother who cooked for an army and sent home the leftovers… and then purchased yet more groceries, because they were on sale, you see… And besides, Deb-or-ah, I once walked in your shoes, and that’s what my mother did for me.
And a sister who asked me to use supplies in her emergency closet, because they were going to expire, you see… and then handed me a box of perishables...
and hair spray.
and dental floss.
Or a friend who consistently brought us dinner, because she had cooked too much, you see…and her own family just didn’t like leftovers.
Or the extra vegetables from a garden…
Or an extra car when insult was added to injury
and our van broke down as well.
You’re probably not surprised that I took pictures of it all.
It was months into our season when our Sunday School classes gathered after church for potluck and encouragement. We talked and shared stories, and I saw the husband laugh that day. When we got ready to leave, the hostess quietly said,
“You need to take the box.”
and told us not to open it until we got home.
Inside were cards and letters of encouragement and gift certificates… and a love offering from friends who would allow neither return nor repayment. They merely asked that we pay it forward when we could.
We have, and we do.
And in a little twist which can only be God, forward has in some cases been backward as several in the room that day put on our shoes before the next year was out. God had prepared us for ministry to them through our own season.
And a box.
The box holds a position of honor in our living room. Inside are all of the cards and letters and hard copies of pictures like the ones posted here…lest we ever forget. It sits near the chair where I sit to pray. When I’m having a particularly difficult week, or when feelings of fear and anxiety threaten me, I like to open the box and be reminded of a time when I got to see God with his skin on.
This week has been such a week. The husband is in sales, you see, and no matter what the talking heads might try to tell us, the economy is not exactly robust.
But God has not given me a spirit of fear.
God has given me a box.
This week’s simple pleasure was opening it.
It's my pleasure to share this with Dayle
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Southern In My Heart for Inspiration Friday.