By Ann Voskamp
“…because you are precious to me…” Isaiah 43:4
“Mama, I love her!” Hope gently cooed.
The marker-drawn face of 4 year old Hope’s egg peeped out from behind the fleece material. We had wrapped the fragile egg in the fleece fabric and then pinned the fabric, with egg tucked inside, to Hope’s shirt. Hope gently stroked her “baby’s head” with yellow marker-drawn curls.
“I’ll treat her special all day and not break her,” Hope solemnly promised.
But the cry came not 15 minutes later.
“She’s cracked and leaking, Mama!! Come—quick!!!”
I scooped up the oozing egg white from Hope’s shirt as she reported how she had been jumping on the trampoline, and though she had tried to be careful…….well………the egg had cracked.
“Uh huh,” I nodded, taking Hope’s hand. “Well, it sort of reminds us of how we have to treat folks, doesn’t it? Just like they are as fragile as this egg. When we treat them harshly, we break their hearts.”
Looking into Hope’s big eyes, I thought of all the times I had raised my voice trying to explain why “i” goes before “e” EXCEPT after “c”…..or had slammed down a piece of chalk after scrawling out yet AGAIN across the blackboard how to do long division…..or had tossed out a sarcastic comment about how “no one wants to learn anything around here anyway.”
I too had cracked many a heart.
Taking Hope’s hand, I led the way towards the kitchen.
“But let’s make cookies with this cracked-up egg. God can take the relationships we’ve broken and still make something sweet out of them!”
And for that, I am profoundly grateful.
Prayer: “Father, these children You gave are so very precious. You made them….and died for them. Give me eyes to see each one as labeled “FRAGILE! Handle with Care.” Cause me not to break any hearts today. And I thank You for taking the hearts which I do break and so graciously bringing healing and sweetness.”
Ann Voskamp’s answering machine sums it up: “We’re out raising corn, kids and lots of pigs!” She and her husband, their 5 blessed children, and several hundred sows make their home on a Canadian farm.