If you’ve been reading my blog, you’ve probably figured out several things about me. I’m a tad bit off center, I refuse to grow up, and the little things in life amuse me. I’m an extremely easy person to please. It doesn’t take much to make me happy.
When Mom was alive, every CHRISTmas Eve she’d come over and Ed, her, and I would exchange presents. It was a ritual… service at the church, change clothes, and exchange gifts. Since she lived two doors away from us, we’d take my little red wagon over and help her bring presents to our house, since it’s normally overly decorated.
We didn’t open them all at the same time, as I was raised to believe that presents should be appreciated. It’s hard to appreciate anything if you’re ripping into packages so fast you don’t even notice what you got. The first thing we’d open would be the stockings, with the little presents in them, and then the big stuff. Mom would normally go first, because I insisted. I buy cool presents and I have a hard time waiting for them to open their packages. On more than one occasion, the really cool present didn’t even make it to CHRISTmas.
Ed would go next. They never let me go second, because I must closely examine everything before I go to the next present. Sometimes that might entail getting a hammer and hanging up a new picture or finding batteries to put in some toy (yes, I still get them,) or playing with the box it came in for a while. By the time I finished, Mom and Ed had plenty of time to look at all their presents again. Actually, to look at them several times.
I collect anything lion and lamb, and one year Mom bought me a very small angel/lion/lamb, which she wrapped and put into my stocking. When we opened our presents, it was gone. We looked all over the house but never found it. I accused her of getting senile and forgetting to bring it over, but she insisted she dropped it into the stocking. When I took down the decorations, I looked all over and no figurine. Same thing when she searched her house. It was gone. The following year, a lot of the joy was gone from the season because Mom had died in May, and our CHRISTmas tree sat “naked” in the living room for over a week.
I finally mustered enough enthusiasm to decorate it and sat down on the love seat to open the box of decorations. On the floor, virtually in plain open sight, was a small package wrapped in green paper. You guessed it… the lion & lamb. No, it hadn’t fallen out of the box because the box was still closed and no, the cats hadn’t pulled it out of hiding. It just magically appeared.
So, even though my mother was not with us in body that year, she was still with us in spirit, and I got a present from her. In my mind, that proves that God gives us what we need when He knows we need it. Not when we think we need it. Had I gotten it the previous year, it wouldn’t have meant so much. The year I got it was a small miracle that didn’t go unnoticed.
I think people spend so much time focusing in on the big things that they miss the little things. Like once when I was still working, it had been an exceptionally long day. Not in hours, but in mentality. You know what I mean… you look at the clock and it hasn’t seemed to move. Taking it off the wall and putting in fresh batteries doesn’t seem to help much either, it just keeps plugging slowly along.
Then after work was the stop at the grocery store, putting away groceries, doing chores, and getting ready to cook dinner for Ed when he got home from work. As usual, my feet were hurting because I had a heel spur, which makes you miserable most of the time. When I got the mail, lo and behold… there was a card for me from Miss Vickie. A thinking of you type card. It’s funny how getting a “no special reason” card from someone you love will perk you right up.
After we ate dinner, we fed Sugar, which consisted of going outside and sitting in the backyard while she ate. Since we had to put her boyfriend to sleep a few months before, she was lonely and enjoyed us sitting out there with her. After her dinner and petting period, we were on our way back inside to finish chores and enjoy the rest of the evening.
That’s when I noticed the birdbath was fully of dirty water. So, I trudged to the side of the house, frustrated that I couldn’t just go inside. Ed was cleaning the litter boxes, so sore feet and all, the birdbath chore was mine.
If you don’t know, it’s hotter than blazes in San Antonio in the summer. Even in the early evening it’s hot. Since I was going to clean the birdbath, I decided to give Sugar some fresher water, and I always let the water run to get it cooler before I put it in her bucket. This time, for some reason, I decided I’d shoot the water across the yard instead of straight down. The lawn didn’t need water; we got over two inches of rain the previous night, so why I decided to do that escapes me. You know what happened? A rainbow appeared in the stream of water.
As I shot the water higher, the rainbow got bigger. The higher I raised the hose, the larger the rainbow became. It was spectacular. The colors were so vibrant, probably because this glorious rainbow was right in front of me. And, in case you’re wondering, no—there was no pot of gold at the end of it. There wasn’t even a dog, because Sugar was the only Labrador Retriever in the world who was afraid of water. She hid as soon as I got the hose.
So, it was just me and the rainbow in the back yard. And like a two-year old, I was moving the hose all around and watching the rainbow follow the water. And you know what? My feet stopped hurting. My day became a little brighter. That long day and minor irritation from the bird bath just vanished in a blaze of color.
A scientist will tell you the water caused the rainbow because the sun was in the perfect position in the sky to make prisms. The scientist would be wrong. God gave me a rainbow, just like he gave me a card from my friend and a CHRISTmas present from my mom, because I needed them. We expect him to give us the big things, but we forget that Father is a God of little things, too.
There’s an old saying about stopping and smelling the flowers along the way. That’s a good idea, because if we hurry through life too fast, then we’ll miss the rainbows. Life is so much sweeter when you have a hose and the sun shining in just the perfect position. It gives God a chance to send us a rainbow. A little reminder that He loves us. A Valentine from Father, exactly when we need it.