Wednesday, May 26, 2010

his gift

Several months ago, one of our little boys arrived at the center with a gift for me. Out of his pocket he pulled these large-ish sized earrings.

Now, I'm a fan of big earrings...and these take the cake!
He said he'd found them on a bench.
The 'silver' was decorated with tiny sparkly-ish things, but one was missing and had grown a little rusty around it's edges.

Honestly, my first thought was: tacky.
My second was, I'm not putting these things in my ears! Who knows where they've been!
But, his little scarred ear that rounded out the burns covering his arm and chest, his crooked elbow...all left-overs from neglect...they were handing me his gift and the pride in his amber eyes could not be dismissed.

So, we grabbed some alcohol and wiped them clean and he watched on his tip-toes (really, he did...this is not poetic license) as I stuck them in my ears.
I pronounced them great, gave him a hug, and he skipped away.

Doamna M, the mom of another one of our boys and a woman who cleans for us a couple weeks a month, a woman who is my age and started having babies at 14, a woman who looks twice her age, a woman who, when she speaks to me, I rarely understand (and it's not just about not being so great at Romanian), a woman who has known a lot of abuse and who, for many months, was living in a tent...
she watched as I put this gift into my ears, and all day long kept telling me how beautiful they were.

And they were.
And, this gift, these words, those eyes, that pride of his, made me feel as if I glowed with their beauty, too.

Have you ever dismissed something as tacky or dirty, when really it was this beautiful gift? Do you mind sharing your story?

Today in Contemplation: a poem called Language Learning.
And, in Romanian Wifery: my pants are too tight.
Head on up to the pages above to read these posts!


Josh, Robin & Lukas said...

A special gift was also given to us from a little boy at Casa la Vale. It was a tiny, plastic polar bear key chain (half the key chain missing). What made it meaningful was that his giving it was his way of sitting with us in our grief when we lost our first baby. I have always displayed it on our shelves. To a visitor I'm sure it looks strange and ugly and out of place. But to me it is a reminder of our baby and of the practice of being with others.

Tim and Richelle said...

as a former special educ teacher and mother of many, i've received several tacky gifts that are beautiful only because of the giver. last Christmas was one of my favorites - my 9 year old went and found an old pair of her mismatched and tarnished horse earrings + enough change that she'd scrounged around the house to buy a pop from a vending maching because she wanted to make sure that her mama had at least one surprise gift... one that i didn't already know about under the tree. and, she was ready with the camera when i opened it!

i've often wondered if our clumsy attempts to worship, praise and glorify our God are sort of the same... and if He loves them because He loves the hearts He's changed so that we want to honor Him...

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