It was 35 years ago. I stood outside the police station with a group of 12 year olds, waiting for things to get started. As I watched my dad drive away in the car, my heart started to pound. The police officer outside started collecting the permission slips from the other kids…and I realized mine was still sitting on the table in the kitchen.
What to do? We’d been looking forward to this for WEEKS.
My face grew hot as I worried about being the only kid who didn’t get to shoot that night.
I looked around, and saw lights on and people moving in the house across the street from the police station. I bolted out of line, crossed the street, and ran up the front steps and rang the doorbell.
I needed to use the phone.
I wouldn’t get to shoot and finish hunters safety if I didn’t get my permission slip.
Yes, I was a tomboy, Yes, I grew up in the West, and NO, I wasn’t the only girl. And Yes, I was/am a great shot.
I knew they were home. I saw them a minute ago. Why weren’t they answering the door? So I rang it again.
Finally, a girl about my age answered the door. “Uh, yeah?” she said.
“Can I use your phone to call my parents?” I asked.
“Um, sure…it will take me a while to find it,” she replied.
I walked in behind her.
There were three adults in the family room, all watching television. I think it was the Andy Griffith Show.
And the TV picture was in black and white.
Yes, I am that old.
And I watched her climb over piles of laundry, books, dishes, food wrappers, boxes, and I don’t even know what…to get to the wall, where the phone was plugged in.
Obviously this was a while ago, back when all we had were land lines.
And no one thought twice about going to a stranger’s house.
She found the cord, and followed it under the piles of stuff. I called my parents.
None of the adults even looked away from the television to acknowledge that I was there.
The girl and I talked for a while.
I never asked her why she didn’t go to school where I did.
And I never saw her again.
I got to shoot that night, but I remember less about that than I do about this girl’s home.
And now, in the world we live in today, there’s a name for folks like this and even a TV show or two about them.
We in the west make light of the many serious issues our gluttony causes – we lightly refer to them as, “first world problems.”
And I’m not exempt – I have too many dishes, too many pairs of black shoes, too much makeup, and I’ve kept too much STUFF that I don’t need over the years.
And this year for Christmas, when I was asked what I wanted, I said, “I want someone else to get chickens.” I want my own chickens, actually, but I can’t have them in my subdivision. So I wanted someone else to have chickens. And regardless of what you think about the controversy with World Vision about a month ago, they took chickens to people in another country for my son as a gift to me.
And it made us both happy.
Because honestly, I would rather have things that money can’t buy – time with the people I love to pieces.
There’s never enough of that.
And I don’t really need anything else.
And who has too much love in their life?
But having said that, a friend of mine on our ministry team sent me the plaque below – it has my life verse on it. And it makes me exquisitely happy. WAAAAYYY happy.
And the best thing? I don’t get to see her that often because she lives in Georgia. So every time I see this, it makes me ridiculously happy and helps me think the best-est of things – about her, about my life, about everything He gives us.
So understand I’m not saying to be uber-minimalist.
But I am saying to be careful where you store up your treasures – because that’s where your heart will be. Matthew 6:21
Dare ya to get rid of some things and get a tax deduction. Double dog dare you to share what you’re getting rid of… 🙂
And if you are around Tuesday morning (April 29), we’d love to have you at Horizon Church in Newtown for our last video session for Daughters of Sarah! We’ll have coffee (thanks to a special donor!!) at 10am, and get things started around 10:30am and be done between noon and 12:30pm.
You can be part of our live studio audience. And I will have a very special personal invitation for YOU at the end. I hope you’ll come. Maybe I won’t be so nervous about getting it right! 🙂
If you are parenting small people, you should totally follow Leah and Debbie if you have tweens, teens, or twenty-somethings. Like us on Facebook so you can know when Daughters of Sarah becomes available in video format this year. I’m also active on Twitter as @NinaRoesner. Come join the discussion!
Love to you,