Tuesday, September 27, 2011

God's Macaroni Necklace

"Here, Mama!"

She shoved a rattling string of wooden beads in my face with a beaming smile and gripping fist.  Her eyes danced with pride as she waiting for my reaction. 

"Oh, Honey!  It's absolutely beautiful! Did you make this for me?"

"Uh huh!"

I reached for the necklace and she released her clutch, dropping it into my open hands.  A long necklace of beads and painted wood butterflies as big as silver dollars lay in a pile before me in my palms.  The ornaments were polka-dotted and colored in every bright pastel hue you can think of.  She waited beside me as I stood up to put it over my head and glance into the mirror over the buffet in my dining room.  It looked more like a lei than a necklace.  I smoothed my hands over the butterflies.

"It's really nice, Honey!"

"Are you go to wear it to church?"

I am team teaching a bible study on Tuesday mornings until January.  We were readying ourselves to head out the door when she handed me my surprise.  I hadn't considered that a lei of clanking butterflies would be perfect with my carefully selected outfit. 

"Oh, um.  Well, of course. Yes, I will wear it to church."

I left it on and hoped that I would remember to remove it after I dropped my daughter off at the babysitting room in the building but I forgot about it in the chaos of setting my stuff down on a table and trying to find the child care provider so I could leave Carli to play.  I finally got her settled so I could set up for the lcass when I found one of my teachmates in the study room.  We were reviewing what the morning would be like when I noticed that she kept glancing at my blouse.  It took about 4 times for me to get what was distracting her.  It was my butterflies.  I grasped the beads when I figured it out, chuckled and told her about my gift that morning.  We had a laugh and she went on to tell me about a scarf that her daughter had knit for her in junior high school.

"You don't know how many mornings I'd leave that on just long enough to head out the door and into my car to change into another one."

"I forgot about my necklace.  I didn't want to hurt Carli's feelings."

As I said that I started thinking about what would happen if I'd made a macaroni necklace for God.  I remembered making one for my mom when I was in Kindergarten.  It was an elbow and penne macaroni necklace that was spray painted silver by the teacher.  I was so proud of that necklace.  I couldn't wait for her to wear it.  I am sure she had many of the same thoughts I had about my butterfly one. 

Compared to God's gifts to us, our gifts to Him are like macaroni necklaces.  His gifts are perfect, valuable and hand selected for us.  Our gifts are primitive, easily duplicated and sometimes clumsy.  He loves everyone.  He delights in our efforts to love Him back, just like we do with our children.  His love is perfect though.  I believe He does wear our macaroni necklaces with great pride.  I believe He is eager to show them off to the angels and say, "Look, see what my precious one made for me today."

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