a new baby
a full laundry basket
a bouquet of flowers carried down the aisle
a sobbing friend going through challenging times.
Holding means “to have or keep in hand; to keep a fast grasp.”
Often our days go by like a movie which keeps running and running. Can we push pause, taking time to ask:
What do I want to “keep in hand”?
How do I want to express my holding?
What do I not want to hold?
Today I want to hold my experience at the strawberry patch where I stretched and bent and twisted to reach the berries and maintain balance.
I want to hold the shading of each berry – some red and white striped, some red, some burgundy, some light green, some white, all in different stages of development on the same plant. The straw between the rows offered a dry carpet with wet dirt peeking through; conversations from others in neighboring rows—not eavesdropping; rather, hearing the heart of humanity.
I want to hold in my heart the children excited to find a berry, eat a berry, fill a small container with berries—not all of them ready for picking. I want to hold the sound of the wheels of my car against the gravel road leading to the fields. I want to literally hold the heaviness of the rectangular box heaped to a peak with berries. I want to hold on to my red fingers, stained from cutting berries. I want to save four cups of the fruit for jam and the rest folded into baggies heading for the freezer.
One year I held my experience by making a quilt using green gingham fabric covered with fanciful drawings of strawberries.
God gives me all of this to hold, to “keep a fast grasp,” so I remember, cherish, and treasure these things in my heart. Thanks to His gifts, I hold God in each jar of jam.
I hold God in the frozen baggies.
I hold God in the quilt.
I hold God in my heart, strengthened by my time in the strawberry patch.
And God holds me through all.