In the garden we pause a moment to appreciate the beauty. The flowers are planted for enjoyment, relaxation and appreciation. Garden’s aren’t for plowing through but for taking a moment of satisfied reflection. As far as I’m concerned, the whole earth is a garden. It is meant to be enjoyed completely and fully no matter where we are going and what we are doing.
During this time in Canada I have been attempting to discover the unique beauty along the road and in the towns and communities I visit. Each site becomes a picture to hold in my hand and discover, giving thanks for the smallest treasure. There has been a series of very unique treasures that I have come across … sometimes they would be really easy to miss because there is so much else to focus attention on. But when I take a minute to really look, to really listen, then I realise the gift that each one gives me. They are the children in the towns and cities.
Her hands busy at work with her rainbow loom, a daughter of friends sat silently as her parents and I shared about our lives. She had been busy all night, her ears open while she worked away. I minded my words knowing that she was probably picking up on everything. What would she learn from our conversation about God, the world and how we live well? Before I left she handed me the creation that she had made for me while we talked – a beautiful, colourful bracelet named starburst. She offered her gift. She offered what she loved and what was in her ability to give.
With big eyes and at a loss for words, the seven year old boy stood waiting his turn to speak to me after the church service. I was in the middle of a conversation so I told him quickly that I would find him as soon as I was done. He nodded and turned around to find his lunch in the next room where an array of home cooked food was ready for all who came. After filling my plate I sat in the empty seat next to him. His mom helped explain that he wanted to ask what he needed to do to be a missionary. It is what he has wanted to do for a couple of years now. Never stop talking to God – that’s my best advice. He will always lead you where you need to go.
A small girl with short dark hair looked at me until I spotted her. She smiled and waved before shyly looking away and running off. Before leaving, she came back and stood two meters away until I spotted her again. I smiled at her and she lifted one hand to wave before quickly turning and running down the stairs.
“It’s the cousin! It’s the cousin!” My cousin’s young children would announce my arrival upstairs in the morning. They taught me about Police World and came on adventures with me to Telus World of Science and Fort Edmonton. Climbing onto the Ferris wheel I realised my fear of heights as soon as the bar came down. I didn’t want to teach this fear to my cousin’s daughter so started to play a game as we went up … and down … and up … and down.
With wide eyes, two boys shook my hand, “Hello, Liesel Reimer.” They have been praying for me and supporting me as a Sunday School for a couple of years now. At their home they introduced me to the things they love and welcomed me to play a game of chutes and ladders with them. Their invitation to return is an important one!
Cartwheels in the park and paper airplanes with my niece and nephew. “I’m so glad you came to visit,” my nephew said on the way to bed one evening … “you live far away.”
He was silent on the group climb up the lush mountain side but the geocache find at the top won me an unexpected instant friendship with this older boy. For the entire return journey he talked my ear off telling me about all the things he loves! His trust and enthusiasm for life was his gift.