“What shall I get them, Lord? I want to take something home that will be important to them for a long time.”
I repeated this question at every port we stopped at during our cruise in the Baltic Sea. I ruled out toys as they would grow out of those. I could not see getting books in languages they don’t speak or read. Some of the clothing would be nice but again not long-lasting. So I searched at every shop, even the tourist traps, along my journey.
The two precious young ladies I was shopping for are my granddaughter, Sophia, in Wisconsin and my friend/mentee/mentor Esther who lives near my home in the Denver suburbs.
Then in Helsinki, Finland I found my answer. Beautiful scarves that could serve as fashion accessories for a long time. But now a new question, “Which color?” There were so many to pick from – blue, pink, purple, wine, yellow or a combination of colors.
“Keith, which one do you think they will like?” I asked my husband.
“Are you getting them the same one?” he asked me.
“Yes, I would like them to have scarves just alike. But I can’t find two that match identically.”
We continued looking through the scarves as the shop clerk ran back and forth to the stock room in search of two scarves that matched. No luck. Some were similar but not exactly alike. The shopkeeper told us that often the crafters who make the scarves enjoy making diverse garments.
Then it occurred to me, these two young ladies are similar in many ways, but not exactly alike. Was God telling me something? He does not make two people exactly alike so why was I trying to find something that would be identical for the girls? He too enjoys creating and celebrating diversity. Each of God’s children is created from a unique model. And He loves all of us equally.
“Do you think they will like the blue ones or the mauve ones or the…?” I started.
“I think they will be pleased if you pick out something that you like. Then the scarves will remind them of who you are. And when they wear them, they will be reminded of you and how much they mean to you.” The wise and gentle words of my husband answered the incomplete question.
I settled on two scarves with the colors wine, purple and mauve in a delicate but sturdy lacey pattern – similar but not identical.
I pondered Keith’s words as we left the shop and thought that it would be great if when each girl wore the scarf she would remember me and how fond I am of her.
Then I asked God if He could arrange for them to meet someday and wear their scarves to show each other. And maybe, if I am not still on this earth, they will reflect on who I was in this world and in their lives.
On the bus ride back from the shops, I caressed each scarf and ran my hand over the fine workmanship of each garment.
“Do you think they’ll like them Keith?” I asked.
He took my hand, kissed my fingers and said, “Yes. I think they will love them.”
Now all that was left was to deliver the scarves wrapped in love.
Copyright Sept. 2019, Laura L. Padgett Lakewood, CO
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