“But the fruit of the Spirit is love…” Galatians 5:22 (NKJV)
I wasn’t at the market the day the lady brought the brown paper bag with all of the pretty pieces in it. I was in another state entirely, having a wonderful relaxing weekend with some of the most fabulous women I know. We’ve known each other “forever.” (You stop counting these things after you pass the 25 year mark and just say, “forever.”) We were on our annual summer retreat—a just-us-girls, no kids, no husbands weekend—that we’ve been doing ever since we graduated from college together.
It wasn’t until after I got home, unpacked and made my ‘report’ to my husband about the weekend that he mentioned the bag. It didn’t look like much from the outside. It was a brown paper lunch bag…that rattled when you moved it. He told me that a lady came to our place at the market hoping I could help her with a project. I was supposed to call her to get all of the details and let her know if I could help.
I checked out the contents and knew right away that there had been an accident and someone wasn’t happy. The bag contained a small pile of vibrantly hand-painted pieces that used to be china cups.
I made the call and found that the cups had belonged to this lady’s friend who was extremely sad about their loss, but had tried to redeem it as best she could by sending the pieces to become part of a mosaic project. Her friend had another idea in mind and she thought we could make both of those ideas happen. She had seen some of my jewelry and I was commissioned to create something unexpected for her friend. I could do anything I wanted as long as I created earrings and a pendant. She wasn’t sure about shape or size and she didn’t ask what it would cost, but told me that her friend was 70 years old and that she was often ‘a little bit bold’ in her choices. I decided immediately that I would like that woman a lot. I already liked her friend for wanting to surprise her in such a personal way.
This story may not be your typical thought when you think about the fruit of the Spirit and the topic is love, but it fits for me. That’s what we do for people we love. We pick up the pieces and we try to make something beautiful happen for them. It’s self-less. It’s personal. It’s love.