When I was growing up, we actually had “the Joneses” living next door. Only, it was just Mrs. Jones—a sweet, elderly widow who had cookies and Kool-Aid for the neighbor kids.
I didn’t know anything about the cookies and Kool-Aid, however, until the day that my sister Michele and I were riding our bikes near her house and ran over her yard decoration. It was a wooden cutout of a redbird on the top of a wooden stake painted red. One of us (I won’t say who because it might make Michele feel bad) ran over the cardinal, and the stake broke.
We quickly hopped off our bikes and examined the broken decoration, hoping there was some easy fix. Nope, the wood was unmistakably broken, and the splintered top half was too short to stick back in the ground. We propped it up against the bush and sadly rode home to tell Mom.
My mom was sympathetic, but she told us to go back and tell Mrs. Jones what had happened…and that we would replace or fix the decoration.
I was pretty sure the bird couldn’t be fixed—wooden stakes don’t miraculously heal. But I walked next door with Michele as her moral support.
Mrs. Jones laughed about the broken bird and said it was quite all right. That was when we discovered the cookies and Kool-Aid. She sat us down at her kitchen table and gave us several cookies each. From then on, I looked for a good reason to visit Mrs. Jones!
We carried the broken bird and stake back to our house to see what could be done.
We showed it to my dad that evening, and I wondered what he would do. I didn’t see how it could be glued, and I never remembered even seeing such a decoration in a store. In my mind, it was unfixable.
But my dad pulled in supplies from outside of my idea box—a new stake, a can of paint, a paint roller, and a screw driver. He didn’t fix the broken stake—he replaced it.
My dad can actually do anything—including making red lights turn green. But I digress from this post.
Although we moved from Mrs. Jones’ neighborhood many years ago, I remember her wooden cardinal often. And I remember my amazement that it actually could be fixed.
Sometimes when I face a situation that is obviously broken beyond repair—be it a splintered relationship, a shattered dream, a crushed hope—I remember the cardinal. And I remember that like my earthly father, my heavenly Father has resources—unlimited resources—that lie far beyond the realm of my idea box.
I simply hold my need up to Him and say, “Will You fix it, please?” Because He truly can do anything.
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds. He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.—Psalm 147:3–5