Every now and then I like to share with you something that I didn’t conjure up in my thoughts. Something I didn’t write, but something that has touched me deeply. Ching Yeung Russell has written a poetic book for children (and adults alike) called Tofu Quilt about growing up poor in a village in China. I cannot tell you much more because my little boy only allowed me to read the first twenty-five pages to him. (He wanted to read the rest on his own). Twenty-five pages is all I needed to be profoundly touched by one of God’s truths pounding through Russell’s words. Take a look at the excerpt below.
I rest my chin in my hand,
my elbow on the train’s windowsill.
I am sad
and happy at the same time,
like eating a bowl of sweet and sour soup.
Ma breaks the silence
“I know you had fun
just by looking at your suntan;
you’re as dark as charcoal.
“Tell me what you liked the most.”
“Dan lai!” I burst out,
“I wish Uncle Five
would have let me eat more than one bowl.
I didn’t have enough.”
“It’s very expensive,” Ma says.
“Why?” I ask. “It’s just a small bowl.”
“Dan lai is the specialty of the town,” she says.
“And it is only made from one family’s secret recipe.”
“Have you tried it?” I ask Ma.
“Yes,” she says. “A long time ago.”
I promise Ma,
“When I grow up,
after I get rich,
I will buy you a bowl of dan lai!”
After you start going to school,
you will learn many things.
And you will be rich in many ways.”
The last phrase sliced through my spirit. I could barely read that line out loud. Sort of like a particular line of my dad’s eulogy. My spirit acknowledged in a loud, internal way that I have learned that I have become rich in many ways. Somewhat like the thousands of grains of sands that JMathis wrote about last week. Thousands of sands rubbing against one another. Smoothing edges, providing support. The value of the experience of being a grain of sand in the Lord’s worthy hands makes you rich in many ways.
As this month pushes toward the third Thursday of November. Ponder over how God has made you rich in many ways. His omniscience measures in a manner unlike the world. While we all are thankful for our livelihood and similar things. See if you can go deeper for the secret value He has spun in your heart. I don’t know what you will find. But I have found through Russell’s poetry that there is great thankfulness in acknowledging that I, through Him, have become rich in many ways.