“Whether we are poets or parents or teachers or artists or gardeners, we must start where we are and use what we have. In the process of creation and relationship, what seems mundane and trivial may show itself to be holy, precious, part of a pattern. . “ -Lucy Shaw
I have so many memories of being a little girl and visiting my Papa. Bigger than life, full of love to the brimming, he would always greet me with, “Hello Pumpkin!”
Then he would reach into his pocket and offer me a Certs. What small acts I treasured as a child. This small, minty candy would have the ability to convince the little girl me that I was unconditionally loved.
The Certs would start off sweet and large. . It would become just a delicate sliver. . And I’d never want it to dissolve..savoring the love.
I wrote a poem called “Eating A Certs” in college. It was in honor of a grandfather, my Papa, who loved me well.
One evening after both my grandparents passed away, I found that poem in the pages of my grandparents Bible. They had folded it up tight for the keeping. It filled me up that they kept it for so long. I prayed that they knew the love that poem held. As much love as I had to give. I wrote the poem during a time when I felt distance.
From everyone. From everything. Most of all from God. I was empty on the fullness of “life”.
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.” Psalm 51:10-11
My Papa’s failing health was a surprise to me. It shouldn’t have been. I hadn’t noticed, really noticed, the changes during my infrequent visits. Our final moment together my Papa hugging me, bones protruding, eyes pale and dying..him quietly insisting, “I love you Pumpkin.”
I kept looking back in my rearview mirror. Don’t we always? He stood outside, by himself, waving until he couldn’t see me anymore. It was a hot, summer day. I was 20.
His death was difficult. God’s presence was all around me, yet I struggled with yet another new emptiness. As memories of summer sweaty, trampoline dirty, little girl hands grasping Certs filled my thoughts. . . How many times did that man tuck me in and read me The Three Little Pigs as I laid in that twin bed under the picture of my mom, his own daughter? How many walks did we make to the park, hand in hand?
The memories, I ache for the whole. Wholeness. Yet isn’t sanctification a process? The process of Dissolving into something. Someone God can use. Someone that can be poured out to add sweetness to others’ days. No, not dissolving into nothing. Dissolving into something.
I can’t keep the Certs forever. It must dissolve. I must dissolve. I hold on to Him.
HIS love is whole, fills every emptiness. It never breaks.
It takes me years to to accept it fully. Certainly.
“May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else.” I Thessalonians 3:12
And don’t I find it beautiful that my own mom, Papa’s daughter, keeps a full mint bowl out for my boys for every visit.
My earthly Papa’s legacy.
My heavenly Papa’s LOVE.
All this from a Certs. Sometimes, even the small things can point us to eternity.
By Danelle Townsend, He Sees MeLeave a Comment