This morning, during my lunch break, i attempted to post to this blog and tell you a nice story, from my new groovy phone. Sadly, just when i was about to be ready to hit "send," i pushed the back space key too hard, and i lost my entire post. Sadly, there's no "un-do" button on my phone. Lesson learned. I'm going to attempt now to recreate the post i wrote earlier, but since i'm not in the moment anymore, i'll need you to imagine this post to be just a little more moving than it actually will be, just to make up for the lost time.
In any event, my post started with this picture:
I'm not sure if you can tell what this is a picture of, so i'll have to tell you about it.
Several years ago, before we became wanna-be-farmers, my crafty self picked up the somewhat short-lived hobby of beading and jewelry-making. I made simple custom jewelry to match my outfits for work. I felt crafty, and it saved me some money. Near the end of my personal beading fad, a good friend and co-worker asked me if i could repair a couple of pieces of jewelry for her. I accepted the task and took her jewelry in a little box, labeled, "Nelia's Jewelry."
Soon after i accepted Nelia's broken bobbles, i took a job at another office in the courthouse, and 18 months or so after that, i left the courthouse altogether, bobbles still broken.
After becoming a wanna-be-farmer, i remember opening my friend's box a couple of times, trying to remember what she had asked me to do with the items she entrusted to me. But i didn't remember, and the box remained closed, bobbles still broken.
Fast forward to a few months ago, when i came back to work in my old office, the same one where i met my friend, Nelia, and where i acquired her bobbles. I tried again to remember what Nelia wanted done with her jewelry, but when i couldn't remember, i could only apologize.
Then, in a separate transaction, i offered to lend my beading supplies to my friend so that she and her children could work on a project they had planned -- a gift for a friend. I delivered to my friend a dusty old shoe box, with disorganized beads and string and wire, and a few small tools. (And further apologies for her still broken jewelry, in the same box). And i was delighted as Nelia displayed her creations around her neck at work and reported the fun her children were having with my beads. It was the most action that box had seen in years, and i was pleased that they would get some use. She even found her broken jewelry and fixed it herself.
I have repeatedly assured Nelia that she could keep my beads as long as she liked, but today, i received my supplies back, with a beautiful thank you note, and looking not quite so shabby. Not shabby at all.
Instead of my old dirty shoe box, my beads are now encased in plastic, instead of cardboard, and carried in a lovely and appropriate tote. That's the picture you see. Organization in a tote.
And gratefulness that threatened to move me to tears, right there in my cubicle.
I had given my friend what i thought was worth little. Dusty, mismatched beads, small cheap tools, forgotten promises and sad apologies. But when the gift was given freely, it produced much. It enriched, and it spurred new skills and talents. It also returned to me "pressed down, shaken together, and running over," so to speak.
It's hard for me to know if i am communicating to you my heart. I learned something today. That a gift, given freely, cannot be judged by its appearances. But so much more than that.
Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure -pressed down,shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.