Sunday, November 22, 2009

just a spoon, but the set was not complete without it . . .

Lost . . . but now found.

now complete!

I bought a special clear glass tea set last year after Christmas, I had admired it, watched the selection in the store decrease until at last the price was 75% off - then I bought it. I have so many tea pots and yet I wanted a clear teapot for the purpose of serving flowering teas - teas that blossom as they steep, teas which are delicious but beautiful, teas that make you stop, watch, savor,

and you want to share the occasion with others.

The last phrase is why I serve tea. . . it invites you to ask others to join you for one-on-one.

I happily brought it home, unpacked it, set it up, have used it several times. I kept wondering why the sugar bowl had a little spot for a spoon for in the store's display there was no spoon. And then I saw the same tea set in a store in Houston and noticed it came with a spoon. . . my set at home was minus said spoon. Could it have come with one? How could this be?

I had cleared out the box and it was long gone in the trash. I was sad about this from that day this past August. I knew I could not find a spoon to 'fit' the sugar bowl, I had to live with it, all the time having to accept this little small detail: I had thrown out the box with its carefully shaped styrofoam insert that held each piece of this tea set in place knowing that I had tossed out a little sugar spoon along with it.

My mind initially even thought of where it might reside - in the local dump, buried in mountains of garbage, Can't consider that. I pondered asking the store where I purchased it if they could help me obtain another spoon, but I thought better of it, it was my own fault. I did not want to buy another entire set just for a spoon, no way, what a very self-indulgent American thought that was, fleeting though it was. ;-)

And as I used the set, I enjoyed it but always knew, that due to my lack of giving it the full attention as I unpacked it that I had lost part of it. My focus was on the teapot, the fact it came with a sugar bowl and creamer was secondary, that it has a matching spoon was teriary. Sigh, yet it still bothered me a teeny bit.

Until today - in all these months of using it, enjoying it, and sharing cups of tea with friends, family, and neighbors. . . . it wasn't complete. I knew it, I told others about my mistake, they knew it. They felt for me. They wished they could help me and offered any number of work arounds. .

I appreciate their kindness, but I considered it a lesson to pay more attention when I do make purchases.

How not unlike us to accept things as o.k. when a part is missing, to think I'm godly enough, I'm saved, I'm going to heaven. I may even know there is something missing, that I am not enjoying life as some fellow Christian is, they seem to have a bit more, maybe even a little bit more,

but I'm o.k. because after all 'no one is perfect'.

In scripture when we are called to be perfect. . . the meaning of the word is not what our American ears hear, it is fuller and richer than that. No, I don't mean one must try harder, be 'better', be more 'holier than thou'. Perfection, being perfect is becoming complete. . . becoming all that God has created us to be, all He knows we can become as we yield to His Spirit and live for Him, learning the joys of choosing Him,

His ways, and not looking to our ways, our desires, our hopes,

and our dreams as the set goal, set pattern of our life.

I want to become complete in Him, to be complete to serve Him fully, like a complete tea set.

I know that I will become completed, fully perfected when I die or when Christ returns

but I can move toward Him as I learn who God is by His Word,

let His Word impact my heart, my life,

my ambitions, my goals, etc.

And one day, when we least expect it, . . . I will be.

Today I was rummaging in our garage, being very careful to stay within my 10 lb. lifitng limit. and found a box that had a jingle bell in it, curiously I thought 'what is this Christmas box doing out here?" and it was lightweight so I brought it to a surface on which I could open it and found a box, fairly large,

it was sealed up. I opened it and discovered the styrofoam that had held the glass teapot,

creamer, sugar bowl, sugar bowl lid . . and did I dare hope? did I?


Reflecting the light of the garage, nestled into the white styrofoam,

still taped into its little spot was the clear blown glass spoon!

God had somehow let me think I had tossed this box out last January. .

I really thought I had tossed it in the trash months ago.

And yet I had not!

It was within my home all this time, near, but misplaced.

And so my glass teaset is now complete.

It is complete in His time, in His way, and my joy is unspeakable for it shows

in an oh, so material, teeny tiny way, the great love, watchful care,

and delight the Lord has in providing for us.

I rejoiced aloud, found my husband who was raking leaves in our back yard,

showed him the spoon - shared my thoughts on God's love, care, watchfulness,

and on and on (you can just 'hear' it no?)

And his reply?

You want to know that isn't it?

He said "Let me get this right, so today's motto is: don't clean up after Christmas, for you never know what you might toss out, keep every box you get and don't throw it out."

He said the above with his usual cheshire cat grin.

No, that is NOT the motto. . . but that is for another post on another day, dear reader.

You get the motto, the lesson, the Word. . .

He cares. . . . even about such things as my carelessness. Sometimes He will fix things we have done unintentially. He honors us, He is the BEST Father.

And can you not imagine my gratitude towards Him for caring about such a tiny material thing?

It leads me to be more humble and grateful for the things in life I know matter more. . .

like unsaved family/friends/and co-workers,

ill friends, family, and co-workers,

immature-in-faith people,

distance between people both geographical and relationally.

He cares,

He knows.

And sometimes He shows it in ways such as this one today.

This reminds me that He desires that we be complete in Him,

we do our part In Him,

and He makes the changes in our heart,

our mind, and our lives as we set our will toward Him.

Truth For Life

In a word, what I'm saying is,

Grow up.

You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it.

Live out your God-created identity.

Live generously and graciously toward others,

the way God lives toward you."

Matthew 5:48

(obviously the Message version)

1 comment:

Sally Jo Shelton said...

Denise, just want to say thank you for sharing your story about the tea set and the missing sugar spoon. I love it. It's just the kind of thing God loves to do--speak to us in the tiny details of the things we care about. The tea set truly is lovely, and now it is perfect. That's the way God wants our hearts to be--crystal clear and perfectly lovely and pure.