When my dad died nearly 20 years ago, I couldn’t bear to get rid of the things from his house. The fine furniture he tried to refinish at retirement. The white leather golf bag stuffed with every club conceivable. The framed photo of him and Mom from the bank where he worked for a lifetime.
Bob’s parents were very generous and let me house all of the furniture in their barn.
One time, my sister-in-law Mary was looking and found a dolly from my childhood. She was somewhere in my grief pile in the barn. I imagine her turquoise dress was covered with barn dust and bird droppings.
To Mary, she saw something else as she secretly took dooly home and went to a doll doctor, got her fixed, and then made a dress for her.
One Christmas, we opened the front door and there was Mary and daughter Julia with dolly all restored and dressed in a new red-checkered dress and red-polkadot ribbon. Her cheeks were as rosy as ever.
Suddenly, an object from my grief pile connected me to the warm memories of growing up at 609 S. Oakland Street, St. John’s, Michigan. The Christmas trees with snowball colored lights and gobs of foil icecicles adorning the branches.
Something lost became found and restored.
Restored by someone I love.
My reaction to grief has always been to get everything out of my sight that reminds me of painful loss.
After all, when I can’t see it, the grief will go away, right?
I will always miss Dad.
He is the one God chose to be my dad from eternity past.
Was he perfect?
No….none can claim that.
After the last few months of searching for my biological father and finding such negative results, I am even more thankful that my life has been touched by adoption.
Grief and loss are what God delights to redeem.
He has done that for me multiple times, but today He did it with my childhood dolly dressed in a red-checkered dress, rosy cheeks, and black painted-on patten leather shoes.
What precious thing can you pull from your grief barn this Thanksgiving and Christmas?
I doubt its a dolly like mine, but something absolutely unique. That’s how God works.