Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Ethan's Treasure

The door opened and closed so quietly that I wasn't even certain someone had entered the house.

Eight year old Ethan sat on the couch mesmerized by something in his hand. I paused, surprised, not because he was on my couch, but because he usually comes to me in a run, with a bang and a shout.

Life is an ongoing party for Ethan and it's one of my favorite things about him, but this time he was very still. When he looked up, his eyes were full of joy and wonder.

"Oh, Nana," he tells me, opening his hand to reveal a shiny black arrowhead. "Look what Carolanne gave me!"

I am amazed by the magnitude of Carolanne's generosity, wondering if it really should be seen as a gift. Ethan immediately senses my question.

"Really. She gave it to me. She said I will keep it," he whispers. "I need to draw it."

Working methodically through the disappointment and pain of my life with rheumatoid arthritis, a new appreciation is unfolding. I find myself awestruck with wonder at this gift, this treasure, this opportunity held in my hands. God is listening to me just as I listened to Ethan.

"Oh, Father. Look what You have given me. You said I will keep it. I need to capture my gift on paper, study it from different angles, appreciate it with gratitude.

"You can have the drawing, Nana," Ethan said, hanging it on the refrigerator. "I don't need it. I have my treasure."

He tucked the arrowhead in his pocket and hugged me even tighter and faster than usual. "Bye, Nana! Thanks!" he yelled, leaving the door to bang loudly behind him.

And I have a treasure, too. I have been given an opportunity to live fully awake to God's presence in every moment, every circumstance, to discover grace even in disappointment, even in pain.

It makes my life an ongoing party. I have a treasure that makes me want to create something colorful to give away...and maybe hang on the world's refrigerator.

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