And because you have become His children, God has sent the spirit of His son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. Now you are no longer a slave ( to sin and to the law) but God’s own child, everything He has belongs to you. Galatians 4:6&7
My son Jordan turned thirteen this past October and he felt it was time to purge his closet of the “little boy” toys he had accumulated over the years. I watched, my heart aching and a knot in my throat, as he carefully took the large plastic containers from the closet shelves and began to go through every Lego, Bionacle, Hot Wheels car, book, and Beanie Baby. He tossed them in the large, white plastic garbage bag as though they were worthless junk, while all those toys had a story and a particular memory for me- each more valuable than gold.
While he was sorting out the toys, deciding which would go to Goodwill and which to trash, I was working my way through his closet, taking down the shirts, shorts and pants that he had outgrown over the past year. I glanced over at my son, who when standing, was eye to eye with me, and wondered how we got here so fast.
I remember the day he was born. I can still hear his first piercing cry and how his father comforted him in the birthing room by singing ‘Jesus Loves Me.’ Jim sang that song to Jordan every day he was growing in my womb. In clear recognition, Jordan stopped crying and lay peacefully on the warming table, his tiny hand gripping Jim’s finger.
Jordan’s manly voice interrupted my stroll down memory lane.
“Mom, what do you want to do with this? Throw it out?” I glanced over my shoulder as Jordan held up a small, azure blue shirt, with painted angels on the front- the eyes made of those little plastic disks with the movable black center. My son created that work of art in his kindergarten class and kept it as a sleep shirt over the years. It was so big on him when he first fashioned it, that it reached past his knees, and now he couldn’t get it over his chest.
“Put it in the shirt pile, babe. I’ll figure out what to do with it later.” I knew that little, blue angel shirt was a keepsake. I planned to tuck it away in my drawer and never part with it, but for now, my hands were full of clothes that needed to be boxed up and taken to Goodwill.
In the middle of the mayhem, the doorbell rang. It was the air conditioning repair man there to work on our failing AC system. I left Jordan to himself to finish the purging.
Returning a few hours later, I found my son triumphant, surrounded by big white trash bags overflowing with items to be taken to charity. I swooped up the bags and headed to the nearest drop center placing the plastic bags in a bin filled with discarded treasures. I wondered if other mothers had felt the same sadness in parting with a piece of their offspring’s childhood. A deep sense of loss settled over me as I drove away from Goodwill that day, knowing my son had reached a milestone in his life, one I wasn’t ready for, but one I had to face. Jordan was becoming a man.
I went up to his room that evening to give him a kiss good night, when I remembered the blue angel shirt and frantically glanced over at the corner where I’d seen Jordan place it. All gone. Everything was gone…including that wonderful little shirt. Tears welled up in my eyes and I thought my heart would break as I stood helpless in his bedroom. There was no keepsake to hold onto, just an empty closet with only a few books remaining in those big plastic bins that once held the wonders of childhood.
“Mom, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?” Jordan asked, absolutely bewildered at my tears.
“Oh, Jordie, I was really hoping to keep that angel shirt you made in Kindergarten. I wanted to add it to the things I kept of your sister’s to help me remember you both as babies.”
“Oh man, Mom….I’m so sorry. I didn’t know you wanted that shirt. I was so busy cleaning out the things I didn’t need anymore, I just threw it in with the other stuff in the plastic bags.” I could see the painful look on his face as he realized how much my heart was breaking. I lay down in his bunk bed with him, put my arms around him and wept. I wasn’t crying so much for the loss of the shirt, but for the passing of Jordan’s childhood. He was my last, and there wouldn’t be another. Mothers have a hard time letting go.
As I was lying there, I imagined trying to describe that angel shirt to the ladies at Goodwill, as I dug through mountains of discarded clothing. Suddenly, Jordan sat straight up in the bed, a look of hope in his eyes.
“Mom, I put one bag of trash downstairs in the garage container. Why don’t you go and see if the shirt is in it?
With a half-hearted effort, I made my way down the stairs and pulled out the white plastic bag with broken toys, all the things that were unfit to give away. I dug, and pulled and rummaged through that bag with very little hope of finding the angel shirt. When I finished, I retied the knot and reached up to place the bag back in the garbage bin. A tiny reflection of azure blue shone through the bottom tip of the translucent white bag. Not stopping to untie it, I tore into the bag with gusto and watched with amazement as little plastic angel eyes looked up at me. It was there! Jordan’s little boy shirt. Not another piece of clothing was in that bag.
I sat on the cold concrete floor of my garage and laughed and cried and held that shirt to my heart. There wasn’t a thing in this world that could have possibly meant more to me.
I began to thank God for allowing me to find Jordan’s shirt, and in that moment I gained new insight and understanding about the depth and height of the love of God for His children.
The Word says He knew us before we took our first breath- even before we were conceived in our mother’s womb. God loved us when we were just a thought- a plan in His heart. He’s always known the number of days we would live, how many hairs on our heads, how many times our heart would beat, where we would go, what we would do, and all the decisions we would make, both for good and for evil.
He knew I’d be sitting on the garage floor, holding Jordan’s tiny blue angel shirt at that moment in time. The overwhelming love I felt and will always feel for my son and daughter is a reflection of the immeasurable love God has for all of us. Jordan’s worth, his value to me knows no boundaries or limitations and neither does our Heavenly Father’s. What a revelation of our significance.
And because you have become His children, God has sent the spirit of His son into your hearts, and now you can call God your dear Father. Now you are no longer a slave to sin and to the law, but God’s own child, everything He has belongs to you.
- Tamra Nashman
- Florida, United States
- I'm a mother of two children, an inspirational and motivational Author and Minister. My greatest joy is to see people gain new insight and understanding about the amazing possibilities that life holds when we put put our faith to action. 'Shoes For The Spirit, is a book filled with real-life stories of people who have walked through great difficulty and have found the right pair of shoes for their personal journey. Whether or not you are a person of faith, there is something uplifting, guiding and compelling in this little book, for everyone. The accompanying CD, 'Songs For the Soul,' is a compliation of original orchestrated tunes, with voice-over verse layered on top of the music. This CD has great encouragement for all who take the time to listen. I hope all of you bloggers will read the new sequel to 'Shoes For The Spirit,' listed in the blog posts below, and if you're so inclined, will purchase my book and CD. You won't be sorry! Be blessed. Love, Tamra
- ► 2008 (11)