Some Christmases and birthdays I felt like a failure. Rarely were there flashy, hot ticket items for boys to unwrap.
I tried not to dwell on lack. I knew things didn’t last anyway. The good stuff is intangible….but hard to package for a son’s holiday gift.
So instead, boys built snow forts and ice skated. We made things and we baked things. School and church and relationships filled our days.
One Christmas this boy received a handmade, roadmap blanket. Purple, plaid cotton with highways and mountains, houses and trees appliqued across its top – – toy cars rolled up inside – – it was all that I could offer.
I don’t think he minded the purple. The blanket stood up to brothers and imaginary road trips. It journeyed into the washing machine, visited my mending basket and even made it onto his bed once in a while.
It was pure joy and privilege to stand guard over this boy’s growing. Little did I know he would return the favor one day.
Because all this boy wanted to be, ever, was a Soldier.
One year he flew home to collect his earthly goods. By then he had a home of his own on the other side of America. He said he really loved it “back there”. And of course, I really loved it when he was “over here”.
So I watched him sort and pack boxes that had long been stored in my attic. In his best soldierly way he pared down to the most essential. Except for one box labeled KEEPSAKES.
That one journeyed across country with him – filled with special books and Santa pajamas and a purple, plaid roadmap blanket. And when he got back to his home… he went to war.
He went to places where children have no safe place to play…or sleep, or eat.
He saw and experienced the worst of what mankind does to himself.
And once again all I had to give this son was the intangible………
…..prayers for God’s protection and favor
…..prayers of thanksgiving
…..prayers for heart healing
And one more……..
…..That the heart which cared enough to keep a purple, plaid blanket – would stay compassionate enough to remember the lost child, pliable enough to seek God’s wisdom and strong enough to follow the roadmap….always.
Stand at the Crossroads and Look, Ask for the Ancient Paths, Ask where the Good Way is and Walk in it – and you will find rest for your souls. Jeremiah 6:16
…….HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAVID………..