Another day’s treasure: one ruby gem.

Small, no bigger than an inch. Yet sparkling sweet, gleaming radiant. Vibrant in the mouth, rich on the tongue.  Drop of fruit borne from bed of straw and dirt, and garden shadows.

But the treasure lies not in its gem-likeness, nor its marvel of taste, nor even its rareness now, spring bearer out of season—

but in the heart that bent the back and reached the hand to procure the scarlet gift…

that sent the feet to bring the body, bring the hand that held the droplet red, all the way through garden and out, and along the stony path..

and into the house…

and up the stairs…

and through the door I’d even closed…

to hold before me, that I might rejoice in its beauty, might savor the wonder of its springtime in waning summer, that the bearer might enjoy my joy.

Such is the treasure of the love of God.

And that love, shed abroad in our hearts, makes us do such things.What if the bearer had tripped and fallen…?

I rethink this giving, recasting characters for the script, and writing in disaster.

The bearer is a little girl, heart brim-full of love for Daddy, of eager delight to take him the pleasure and the savoring, that she might enjoy his enjoyment.

And in her eagerness, she runs. And in her running she trips and falls, and the gift flies out and under her fall, crushed on her dress, once white.

Smashed gift, stained girl, weeping grievous wail at failing to deliver this pleasure to her so-loved father.

What does the good father feel? What does he do, but gather the shards of her shattered joy, and her little person, into the arms of his own love? And does he count the love gift lost, or still received, just as dear and precious? For was the gift the perfection of the run, or the product in the hand, or even the exhaustion of the effort—or was it the love that propelled the giving and the running?

For one who trips and smashes and weeps too much, what a comforting knowledge, of the loving Father, and of the value of gifts I thought I ruined in the stumbling, but didn’t after all!