In the twilight, they’re blinkin’. Across The Three, waaaayyy back by the fence row, the fireflies are sparkin’, throwin’ light-flashes up in the dark. Behind me, Mister’s hammerin’ up a white sheet on the barn, and I’m fixin’ to throw out the peelin’s. We’ve got a crowd comin’ over, and these kids have been runnin’ their legs off. They’re starvin’…
We’re ready to go. The tents have been raised. The cords have been strung. The fire’s a-lickin’ in the pit by the coop, and the grounds lie still, breathless, waiting.
And here they come.
It’s the cross country team. A particular delight to all of us here, this tired pack of boys that goes runnin’. Up hills, over trails, through the woods, and I’m yellin’. ‘Cause I’m a mother, and that is my job.
That and cookin’.
Bottled water. Six-foot sub. Potato chips. Brownies. The juiciest watermelon this side of the border. It’s evaporatin’, and here come the s’mores.
They settle in chairs, one’s stretched on a cot, and beneath the night stars, it’s a theater. Right here on The Three with that barn.
Mister and I, we go to bed. Outside, the embers burn low. The movie ends; those kids, they fade; and one by one, they drop off. Then the morning.
They’re not so bouncy now, I see as we’re loadin’ ’em up with fresh fuel. Food furnaces! That’s what they are; I’ve got four of my own, and I know what’s beneath thin disguises. They only look like boys…
It’s time for the clean-up. And all at once, there it comes. Loving Papa, He’s brewin’ a message.For that one…
I wait, and I test it. But, yes. It’s just what He’s wantin’, so I stop by the chair where he’s loungin’. And I say it. “I just want you to know,” I’m lookin’ at those dark eyes, “that God has His hand on you. He’s got His eye on you, and He’s got a plan for your life.”
“I love to watch you run. You have a gift! I see your long legs eatin’ up the ground and your hair flyin’ back, and it makes me happy. I love watchin’ all of you run, but you. You have a gift.” I say it again.
He nods. He’s not used to this mother. She’s different. Kinda corny. But this mother, she’s not one to care. Not when He’s speakin’.
“I want you to know that someone cares about you and that every time He brings you to my mind, I’m gonna pray for you. God has a special place in His heart for you, and because He does, so do I.”
He’s still; quiet; listenin’. “I want you to know this, that you have great value and worth just by being you,” then once more, “and that someone cares.”
The Three’s empty now. Coach has come, gathered them up, and they’ve trundled uptown for more runnin’. And out front…
Out front on my porch, Papa’s flowers are riot-bloomin’ in the planter that sits by the door. Green ivy trails like…like a bride’s veil. Geraniums blaze red in their place. White spritzes, green spikes, but, oh, the purple flowers. They whisper heart’s secret from His heaven. For inside of each one, a perfect, perfect star all symmetric.
I’m lookin’, and I’m thinkin’ on, well, people. On the young ones He brought us to love and to feed. On the ones that He brings ‘cross my path. In all places.
Each one with that treasure, that gift down inside. That soul, precious star in the center. Loved by Him.
This is me. This is you. It is how Father sees us, and it’s how He wants us to see others. With that star! That gift, that great value tucked ‘way down inside, not visible to the bare-naked eye. But it’s there.
Some of those soul-stars have been cracked and fissured by mishandling, abusing, neglect. They need lovin’.
Need lovin’ and waterin’ and feedin’ and prayin’. And we’re His hands and feet for that doin’, those good works. Yes, we, you and me, are His eyes, Papa’s heart, and He’s trustin’ us with that care and that keepin’. Of others.
Start seein’ yourself as He’s seein’ you, with that beautiful soul-star inside. Start seein’ others as He’s seein’ them, with that same precious value tucked in, covered up.
Don’t let rough outsides fool you. Don’t let wrappin’s throw you off. For just as surely as the flowers that are bloomin’ on my porch, that delicate gift’s just a-waitin’. For the seein’.
You and I, we can see. We can love.
Yes, we can.
Warmly, and with such gratitude to the Master Gardener for good gifts,