God’s love and a little red umbrella

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Droplets of rain lightly caressed my face as I stepped into a new day.

My cheeks tingled as I savoured the chill of the morning air.

Embracing the solitude of my early morning walk, my heart rejoiced and sang with delight as I relished the solitude and anticipation of the day untouched by human demands.

I saw it lying there as I passed . . . a little red umbrella from who knows where, carelessly tossed into the gutter.

I wondered momentarily if I should pick it up, for by now the rain was not so friendly and welcoming.

Although any thought of its usefulness dissipated almost immediately as I surveyed it’s bent and broken prongs.

Despite my soggy joggers I pressed on, determined to enjoy my walk, later wondering if perhaps that red umbrella may have afforded me a little shelter that I now lacked. Had I been too hasty in passing it by? Now I wished I had not been so dismissive of its possible usefulness.

Pondering as I walked, I wondered if at times our lives are not unlike that little bent and broken umbrella.

Sometimes through the storms of life we are left broken. Experiences shatter us and we are often tossed aside like that red umbrella. Left lying in the gutter . . . like damaged goods.

Or maybe, we ourselves have not recognised the God given potential in others, because we see only brokenness. Perhaps the cares of this life consume us and we don’t always take the time to bend down and embrace broken people. We look, but we do not see. [pullquote]

How often in our own short-sightedness do we overlook the worth of a broken and bent soul longing to be seen and heard?

When the prophet Samuel was instructed to anoint the next king of Israel no-one but God saw a potential king in the unassuming shepherd boy David.

Even David, the summary of youthful vigour and goodness, knew the sting of rejection.

1 Samuel 16 tells the story—one by one the sons of Jesse paraded before the prophet, expecting the honour of royalty to be bestowed upon them . . . and one by one God read the intent of each proud heart, acknowledging instead the unlikeliest of candidates to the throne—an ordinary shepherd boy. The epitome of simplicity. After all, the life of a shepherd was seen as a most menial one. It is said when God measures a person, he puts the tape around the heart not the head.

Often, we see through distorted human eyes—as it were through a glass darkly (1 Corinthians 13:12).

May God grant us the ability to look past brokenness, the ordinary, and see the potential in each person—their unique possibilities; what they could be, given the right opportunities.

I smiled as I bent down and picked it up, both of us dripping wet, and thanked God for the lesson He wanted me to see in the simplicity of a bent and broken little red umbrella.

Lyn Scarr writes from Ocean Shores, New South Wales, where she works as a nurse and enjoys writing short stories.

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