Do you believe that our God is faithful in the little things? In the very little things? If you do, or even if you doubt, I have a story for you.
When we lived in Virginia, we made it a habit to come to Rhode Island every year for Christmas. This meant that all of our shopping and wrapping had to be completed before we left. For daughter, Carrie, this meant two Christmases, one at Grandma’s in Virginia, and one at Nana’s in Rhode Island. She, of course, didn’t mind this at all. For us, it meant there was a lot of preparation, and a long road trip north.
Christmases with our first child, and my parents’ first grandchild were always memorable. So many memories are stored in the albums of our family’s history; but there is one that I shall never forget. Carrie was three years old, and a very good little traveler. We thought she had fallen asleep in the back seat when all of a sudden, a tiny little girl voice popped up from behind us. “Oh, no! I forgot to ask you for something! I REALLY want a tea set”.
This was a child who rarely asked for anything. There has never been a selfish bone in her body. My heart sank, and I explained that we had finished our shopping, and Nana and Granddaddy had too. In typical fashion, she didn’t say a word, didn’t shed a tear; she simply sat back in her seat and eventually nodded off. And two parents sat silently in the front seat. There was nothing we could do. It was Christmas Eve, and the stores had already closed. It would be a Christmas wish we knew would go unfulfilled.
As usual, it was a wonderful celebration. It seemed that Nana had decorated every nook and cranny in the house. There were gifts under the tree, and gifts in front of the fireplace; the living room had been overtaken by the generosity that only first time grandparents exhibit. But nowhere among that bounty was there a big box of the kind tea sets are packaged. Carrie was too excited about all of her presents to say a word about a tea set. Whew! We had dodged a bullet.
The next day was Sunday, and we went to ” Granddaddy and Nana’s church church. We were warmly greet by people who hadn’t seen us in months, and started down the aisle to find our seats. But before we could take more than one step, an elderly couple approached us. The wife was carrying a colorfully wrapped package, a gift they had bought for Carrie. I almost gasped out loud. It was a big box. Be enough to hold a little girl’s unanswered request. Could it be? Could it possibly hold a tea set? I don’t remember a thing about that service except that I couldn’t wait for it to end.
We said our goodbyes and would have run to the car if we thought we could get away with it. Carrie opened her gift, and let out a scream. I will always hold her words in my heart, “A tea set! Just what I wanted! Jesus gave me a tea set”. I don’t know if her words resulted from getting her gift in church; our that our precious little girl had whispered prayers to the Jesus she loved. It didn’t really matter. That tea set was a gift from above. Carrie always called it “the tea set Jesus gave me”.
The tea set story is one of our Christmas memories that we often share. As time went by and I began to write, I regretted not saving something from that Christmas miracle. I hoped that a tiny cup or plate was left in her toy box after we sorted through the stuff of Carrie’s childhood. It would mean so much to have this talisman to pass along with the story; but I never found one.
Years went by, and my parents moved out of their big house. We helped them go through their household possessions, and then we remembered the barn. We still had to empty it of whatever they had stored in it’s little attic. As I was pulling a box of what I thought to be nothing but junk, I felt a tiny sting on my finger. Assuming it was a spider, I dumped out the contents. It was a little white plastic fork. A child’s toy. The kind of utensil you might find in a tea set. A tea set! Yes, that’s what it was, the souvenir I’d lost hope of ever finding. I let out a scream and ran down the rickety barn stairs. I found my purse and tucked that fork in a pocket where it would be safe.
That’s my story. It’s really a two time miracle; the first was the answer to a little girl’s wish, the second was the blessing to me, whose heart had given up trying to find.
I believe in miracles. I also believe in a God who cares about the little things. I know this because His Word tells me.