Friday, May 9, 2014

#29: Two Vases and a Teacup

     How the years have flown by! As I approach Mother's Day, I sit at home alone today, putting off the list of chores I need to do and remembering the childhood days of my children.
      I  bought my older daughter a pretty crystal bud vase for Mother's Day this year. And, when doing so, I remembered that she at one time gave me a beautiful little blue and white speckled vase in which I could put the wildflowers that she so lovingly gathered and brought to me clutched in her hands. That vase has grown more precious through the years and serves as a vessel in which I  put delicate,  lovely, thin-stemmed flowering sprigs in the spring. 
     My younger daughter fashioned a vase for me from a slender jar, some wire, and multicolored glass beads. That bud vase is also dear to me, and I look for it, especially when I want it to hold a single lovely flower. There have been many days that I have carried it to the office with me to set on my desk where I can share a beautiful flower with my patients.
      I realized today , as I watched the rain drops streaming down outside my window and noticed the drooping flower petals in my garden, that it's not the flowers I treasure so much as the vessels into which I put them. Those vases have become symbols of who my daughters are as persons. The blue one is a simple, round-bodied clay vase textured with raised white dots. The daughter who gave it enjoys having a very simple home with clean lines and a modern touch. She abhors junk-drawers and messy closets and is much more of a minimalist than  I. The blue reminds me of her beautiful eyes and of how they sparkled when she gave me the vase. I see her eyes now as she sings to her children and lovingly snuggles them in her lap as she reads stories to them. The vase is a symbol of her because it holds good and lovely things, just as my daughter does. She embodies the lovely, giving spirit of a sweet young mother. She is so beautiful to me as I watch the way she devotes herself to her husband and children and lives out her faith in Christ in daily, sacrificial ways.
     The vase that my younger daughter made is also uniquely representative of her. The colorful beads catch the sunlight, and the wire is twisted around the glass in such an artistic free-form manner. She is so much like the vase--it a work of multifaceted artistry , and she a  free-spirited artist herself-- a young woman of many interests with a sparkling personality. When I add lemon-lime soda to the water to preserve fresh flowers, the fizziness again reminds me of this daughter; her personality is effervescent.
     Both daughters are the bearers of good things--of beauty and freshness,  of life--a fragrance of God's creation and Presence within them. I'm thankful today for those daughters and for the vases that remind me of them. But what about my son and the "teacup" in the title of this blog entry?
     My son and his gift are not forgotten. I don't see him in a bud vase, but I do in the teacup he gave me when he was a little boy. It is a simple white mug bearing a multicolored rainbow heart with this inscription above  it:  "May your day be filled with love". I think of him every time I drink from that cup and realize that this cup is a symbol of him. He was a very loving child and wore his heart on his sleeve. Even today,  he is loving, generous, and sensitive. I value that teacup, but I treasure the son who gave it to me. And, when I read the words on the cup, I realize that my days ARE filled with love--the love of children, a family, my friends, my church, and--most of all--my Savior, Who loved me enough to become a child-vessel of God Himself, lived out His very human life among us, suffered as we do, was betrayed and abandoned as we are, and was broken as He sacrificed Himself so that we might have new life, forgiveness for our sins, joy in each day, and hope.
     I am thankful this Mother's Day weekend for the gifts from my children but much more thankful for the givers themselves. They are a reflection of the Giver of all good things. They are God's gifts to me and to His world. I see Him in them. 

"Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him."
Psalm 127: 3 (New Living Translation)

 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.  He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.” James 1:17 (NLT)

 "In the sight of God, who gives life to everything..."  I Timothy 6:13a