Training Our HearingJanuary 24, 2024
Just A ThoughtJanuary 26, 2024
And now, the conclusion of The Box.
(By the way, if you’ve enjoyed this journey with Susan, drop me a note. I’d love to hear from you).
By Charlene Elder
With the sky getting darker and storm clouds increasing, the small attic window wasn’t any help in illuminating where Susan needed to be even with the attic light on. Watching her step, she made her way back to the corner and the small brown box she had dropped when her brother screamed. Was this the box?
She carefully removed some photographs that were now covering the box and that’s when she noticed several small pieces of paper sticking out of the corner of the box. Susan’s hands shook when she picked up the box again. Her heart started racing. She just held the box. It seemed like an hour had passed. Dare she open the box? Did it have magical powers like many in the family thought?
She took a deep breath and was ready to find out when torrential rains pelted the attic window. The afternoon storm came with a vengeance. Lightening lit up the sky and claps of thunder shook the entire house. Even in the midst of this storm and holding the box, she felt peaceful. She hated to set it down but she needed to reassure Bobby they were safe.
Hurrying back to the attic stairs and quickly climbing down she hollered to her brother that they were safe and the storm would soon pass. She waited until she heard his “Okay, I’m glad” before going back to the attic.
She quickly found the box and pulled things out. There were a lot of pieces of paper with Bible verses on them. Susan glanced briefly at each of them, but one specifically caught her eye and attention. On the old worn piece of paper, her grandfather had written “Jesus loves me…the greatest news I’ve ever heard.”
Tears formed in Susan’s eyes and she quickly wiped them away as she thought about that statement. If Jesus loves me, then God loves me. And if He loves me, then He cares about my Momma and me and my family.
There it was again. Peace enveloping her in a warmth that started from the inside out. “Thank you for loving me” was all she could whisper in between sobs. When she reached for other pieces of paper, her finger caught on the edge of something harder. She pushed papers aside and saw a smaller box similar to a music box, but when she opened it, there wasn’t any music. Just a piece of thick yarn attached to a slip of paper with the word ‘hope’ written on it.
Susan sat there a minute puzzling over the contents when her thoughts were abruptly interrupted with a huge lightning strike that shook the farmhouse. She jumped up and ran to the ladder and slid down. She quickly checked on her brother who amazingly was sound asleep and then went into the kitchen. Through the back window she could see the huge oak tree that had once stood tall and proud, split and smoldering. She was thankful for the downpour that put out the flames. She remembered many fun times under that tree but right now she was thankful it hadn’t hit the house.
Checking to make sure the rest of the house was secure, she hurried up to attic and back to the box.
The contents of the box puzzled her. She held that paper and fingered the yarn. Hope. What does this piece of yarn have to do with Hope? She put it aside and found another note written by her grandfather and read it. “When it seems that all hope is lost, this piece of yarn will remind you to take hold of faith. Hope is confident expectation of good from God. As long as you have even a thread of hope, you’ll have faith and the answers needed.”
Susan sat for a long while thinking on those words. Her family certainly needed hope right now—Mama wasn’t doing well. Bobby wasn’t improving very fast. Her Dad was worn out, and her Grandma tired out. She closed her eyes holding the piece of yarn. God, I haven’t totally lost hope. I’m holding onto this thread, our last thread of hope.
Tears ran down her face, and she thought she heard her grandfather’s words echo across the attic again. God’s bigger than any of our problems. She wiped her eyes and realized her tears had dampened the piece of yarn. She held it close to her heart when she heard the phone ringing. This time she must have skipped three stairs at a time on the ladder to get the phone on the 4th ring.
“Susan,” her grandmother said. “Your Mom is going to be okay!” She has an infection but she’s responding to the medicine, and she’ll be fine.”
“Oh, Grandma, I’m so glad. I’m holding onto Grandpa’s thread of hope and what he said about God being bigger than any of our problems.”
Susan could feel her Grandma smile. “He knew first hand the power of hope in God, Susan. I know he’d be glad you found his note. One of these days I’ll tell you how he found his hope and faith in God.”
“I love you, Grandma.”
“I love you, too, Susan. Your Dad and I should be back home in just a few hours.”
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Just four days later Susan’s mother returned home. She continued to improve, as did Bobby. In the following weeks Susan and her grandma talked a lot about her grandfather’s box and hope.
Susan framed the thick piece of yarn with her Grandfather’s note, and it remained on her nightstand as a continual reminder of his words, “As long as you have even a thread of hope, you’ll have faith and the answers needed.”