If you look closely, you will see two glass bubbles in the picture. These bubbles were blown by our nephew Noel. They mean a lot to me, the writer. They nearly wound up on the Archuleta County dump in Colorado. Let me explain:
Some thirty years ago our nephew Noel sent us two glass bubbles he had created. Blowing glass was not only his hobby, but also a source of income for many years. He taught the art at a nearby community college whenever given the chance. But today he is unable to do that any longer because he had a stroke and a part of his body is paralyzed.
The glass bubbles had been hanging above our kitchen sink on fishing lines ever since we received them. Rebekah, my handmaiden, never knew or had forgotten that the bubbles meant a lot more to me than being two pieces of round, colored glass. On several occasions, guests had hinted to her that they had an occult flavor and should not be a part of our décor. That was the main reason she threw them into the trash one day.
When the bubbles disappeared, I was not immediately aware of it until I found one of them amongst trash scattered by a bear looking for something to eat. And here is how that all happened in the first place.
Two days before the trash was to be picked up, our trash service left a message on our answering machine advising us to place the trash out on the 5th of July instead of the 4th which was Independence Day. But when the 5th came around, no garbage truck showed up and we put the dumpster, provided by Waste Management, back into the garage.
The following week we called Waste Management. They promised to send a driver to pick up the trash. They said, “If the trash is not picked up by 6:00 P.M., we will have someone pick it up by noon the following day. All of these details are important to bring the story to a climax.
The following day at 6:30 in the morning we had a knock at our door. We figured it might be the trash service. But instead there were two very troubled young men who needed someone to talk to. They had driven 200 miles from Albuquerque to ask questions and pour out their troubled hearts. When I walked them to their car a few hours later, I noticed that a bear had turned over our trash can that we left on the street. Some of the trash had even been taken to an empty lot across the street. The young men had no idea that amongst the trash they picked up for me there might be a rare treasure.
When the trash was not picked up that day, I moved the container next to the garage instead of inside the garage. We had a guest in The Upper Room and I did not want to disturb the guest by lifting the garage door early the following morning – the regular trash pick-up day.
A bear found the trash can once again. I picked up the trash that was scattered across the lawn. Amongst it I saw one of the glass bubbles. And it was only at that time that I realized that Rebekah must have thrown the glass bubbles away a few days earlier. I looked for the second one, the blue one, but was unable to find it. My heart was heavy and grieving and Rebekah immediately noticed it when I came in the house. She asked what was wrong and I told here what had happened. She felt terrible for having thrown the glass bubbles into the trash.
She suggested we carefully go through every bit of garbage and try to find the blue bubble. We did this in our robes and pajamas because it was still early in the morning. Rebekah found the bubble at the very bottom of the trash can inside of a plastic bag. We both breathed a sigh of relief. Some thirty minutes later we heard the trash truck pick up the garbage. That surely was a close call! I thought to myself, “What may look like trash to one person, may be a treasure to someone else.” Praise God, my treasure is also now Rebekah’s treasure and is safe.
As you can see from the picture, Noel’s gift has found an honorable place in our backyard. I secured the glass bubbles on an aspen tree limb with a string of paper clips. They mean more to us now than they ever did while hanging above our kitchen sink. From time to time I take them down and place them into the hands of folks as I tell the story.
I now have another reminder of the grace of God as I compare my own life to those two glass bubbles that were nearly trashed. The world tried to trash me and many others like myself by placing the label of a schizophrenic on my lapel. Oh yes, I must admit that my handmaiden Rebekah and I live our lives away from the mainstream of society. We just don’t belong or fit there any longer; but we are not crazy and neither are we breaking any laws by being “different.” I have not had a “regular” job for the past forty plus years and I pray in tongues whenever my heart is troubled. But the label of a schizophrenic has no longer any power over me or diminishes my worth in God’s eyes or mine.
Many years ago I adopted this prayer to guide my activities: “Lord, let my life be Your glorious contradiction to the world’s definition of normal.” I can honestly say, “God has not only restored my mind, he has given me a new mind, the mind of Jesus.” He has also given me a new heart and a new “start.” And that is the promise of God for all who love his Son and surrender their life to Him. So, don’t be surprised, when the world places a weird label on you when you sell out to Jesus completely. You might even want to consider the label as a promotion.
Do you think angels might have been working behind the scene? I do!
Peter & Rebekah Laue