I walked through the quaint little shop, tucked into the end of a row of cutesy shops. The scent was intoxicating before you even walked through the doors, and once inside it was like a warm hug, embracing all of your senses. There were beautiful things to see and discover in the nooks and crannies, baskets and drawers. The shop was charming, in the truest sense of the word.
The store breathed life into the words of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the feelings I had reading her books were the same as I had walking through this shop;
“As you read my stories of long ago I hope you will remember that things truly worthwhile and that will give you happiness are the same now as they were then. It is not the things you have that make you happy. It is love and kindness and helping each other and just plain being good. ”
I mentioned to the shop owner, a smiling elderly man, how much I enjoyed perusing his shop. He lamented over how much it had changed. How times had caused him to condense and the shop was less than half of what it had once been. He talked of old times, of good times, of changing times. As he talked I was taken up with the beauty of his world. He had crafted an atmosphere in his shop that was special and despite the fact that he had been forced to make unwanted changes, the devotion and care to details in his shop was evident.
Days later I am still smiling over the feelings his shop conjured and reflecting on the various thoughts he inspired, namely – the beauty in simplicity.
I held my brand new nephew this week and also sat by my elderly grandfather’s hospital bed. Each evoking heart tugging responses to the simplicity that they each embody.
My nephew, nurtured and snuggled safely in his mother’s arms.
My grandfather, asking about the well being of his wife who passed on years before.
The simplicity of a beginning and the simplicity of an ending, each one deeply entwined with their own set of complexities that the simplicity is easily overlooked. The love that surrounds a life so fresh to this world, and the love that has abounded around a life long lived in this world. These are the things truly worthwhile, which aren’t things at all, rather lives and our connection to one another.
The old man in his shop built a darling connection with others as he poured his heart into his store. That is love.
The babe that lays helpless and dependent on others is nurtured and doted on by exhausted, weary parents. That is love.
The old man, wrinkled and forgetting, surrounded by lives that have seen him in more robust days. That is love.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends…”
Love is a whole lot of things wrapped up in an all encompassing mission towards people. Love has always been about people.
From the beginning of time a world of beauty created for the ones to be set in it. A plan to redeem those very same, who forged their own path … a path that led to death and destruction. A plan that cost the life blood of the Son of God because God so loved. And while there is an ever flowing richness and depth to the love of God, it is also simply this- God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.
And sometimes it is good to remember the simplicity of the things truly worthwhile.