Sunday, 24 February 2013
The Treasure . . .
Mary was a happy little girl, with a big smile and a head filled with dark curls. She was almost five years old and the apple of her father's eye. One of the things that she loved to do most was to go shopping with her mother. They were at the check out counter one day waiting to be served when Mary spied a beautiful bracelet sitting on top of a pile of other bracelets right next to the til. It was filled with coloured plastic beads, every colour of the rainbow along a few sparkly bits.
"Oh my!" She exclaimed to her mother, "How beautiful! Can I have one mommy, please? Oh please?"
Her mother picked up the bracelet and looked at the price-tag, and then she looked down at Mary.
"I don't know Mary," she said "It costs £1.99. That is more than you get for your allowance."
Mary looked up at her mother, her brown eyes, clouded with sorrow and disappointment. Her mother's heart softened.
"Okay Mary," she said, "I will get this for you today but I will keep it until you have earned enough to pay for it. I am sure we can find lots of chores around the house for you to do." She remembered in her heart how it felt to want something when you were a little girl, but she also wanted Mary to realize the value of working for the things you wanted in life, instead of just being given them.
Mary's sorrowful eyes instantly brightened and there was an extra bounce in her step as they walked home from the shops.
That week Mary worked very hard to earn the money she needed to buy the bracelet from her mother. She already had fifty pence saved in her piggy bank and she did more than her share of the household chores to earn some more pennies, and even did chores for some of the neighbors. It was not long before she had earned enough to pay for it and the beautiful bracelet was on her wrist.
Mary loved her bracelet. It was filled with pretty coloured beads and had a shiny gold coloured clasp. She wore it in the morning and she wore it at night. The only time she didn't wear it was when she took a bath. Her mother was afraid that it would turn her wrist green if it got wet, but other than at bath time her beautiful bracelet was her constant companion.
Mary loved her father. He always called her the apple of his eye and each night when it was time for her to go to bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to tuck her in and read her a story. It was a special time for both of them.
One night, after he had finished reading her her story, he asked her a question.
"Do you love me?" he asked as he looked down into her sleepy face.
"Oh yes, Daddy," she replied, "I love you very much. You know that I do."
"Then give me your bracelet." he said.
Mary's eyes filled up with tears. "Oh no Daddy," she whispered, "Not my pretty new bracelet. You can have my best doll, the one with the golden curls. She is my favourite."
Her father reached down to kiss her goodnight."That's ok, Mary. Daddy loves you. Goodnight."
About a week passed and then one night when her father had finished reading her her bedtime story, he again asked her . . . "Do you love me Mary?"
"You know I do Daddy."
"Then give me your bracelet."
"Oh no Daddy," came the reply as a tear rolled down Mary's cheek. "You can have all of my crayons, but please not my pretty bracelet."
As always the reply came, "That's ok Mary. Daddy loves you. Goodnight."
This happened a few more weeks, always with the same results. Mary would have given her father anything instead of the pretty new bracelet.
Then one night when her father went into her room to read her her bedtime story, Mary was sitting on the top of her covers, her eyes glistening with tears. "What is the matter Mary?" her father asked.
Mary did not reply, but instead lifted her tearful eyes to him and handed him the bracelet. "Here Daddy, this is for you."
Tears welled up in her father's eyes as he reached out his hand to take from her the cheap plastic bracelet, as his other hand reached into his pocket and pulled out a small blue velvet box. Inside was a pretty silver bracelet filled with beautiful gem stones. He took the bracelet out of the velvet box and fastened it onto her wrist. He had had it all the time, but had only been waiting for her to give up the cheap bracelet so he could replace it with a true treasure.
How very like our Heavenly Father that is . . . he waits for us to give up our dime store treasures so that he can replace them with real treasures, that are worth so much more.
We are all the apples of His eye.
“Your Father in heaven knows your name and knows your circumstance. He hears your prayers. He knows your hopes and dreams, including your fears and frustrations. And He knows what you can become through faith in Him.”
~Jeffrey R Holland
Happy Birthday today to a special little girl. Maryn is two years old. It is hard to believe she is already two. I had hoped to be there to give her her present in person, but I am still waiting to leave. I love her very much. I hope that she has a joy and love filled day.
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . delicious Raspberry Brownies. Enjoy!
Have a wonderful Sabbath Day! Know that you are loved.