Once upon a time, there was a sweet little boy whom the Lord had made, who lived in the hard and confusing world of Man. Though he was born ignorant and of the dust of the Earth, just like every body else, he was still somehow aware of the truth of his divine origin. For, throughout the walk of his life, he felt tender eyes forever upon him, watching over him. He could feel that heaven loved him dearly and longed for his return. So, whenever he was asked if he “believed” that there was a God, he would routinely answer, “No.” And then with a pause and a smile he would add, “That was never a choice God gave me.”
This little boy’s life was quite unique, unlike anyone else he had ever known. For, much of it was lived in places of safety, tucked away from the hatred and cruelty of men, and not one bone of his body was ever broken. On the outside, he spent many long hours of his life sitting quietly, gently rocking back and forth, while far away on the inside, he traveled the vast cosmos of his imagination. Through this quiet form of near-realistic play, the Lord was able to teach him many things. For, the Lord always accompanied him on every journey and guided him expertly by the heart. Though often for months at a time, his awareness of his heavenly Dad did fade from his conscious mind, his spirit never forgot to whom he belonged and rested in its assurance of the ever faithful love and protection of the Lord’s almighty hand.
One day, while carefully considering his Father’s parable of the potter and the clay, the little boy felt his spirit rejoice at the thought of being molded by the kind and oh-so loving hands of his heavenly Dad. Completely trusting, he cast himself onto the will of his Father and asked with all his heart, “Please, Lord, make me into something very beautiful.”
He was then shown a vision of a vessel in heaven. However, to his surprise, what he saw was not what he expected. It was not tall or majestic. It was not fancy or regal. It was not even made of gold or silver or of the finest crystal. Nor was it encrusted with a single jewel or embossed with any intricate pattern. This vessel was not something you would ever find laid out upon the table for visiting kings.
The vessel he was shown was a plain and simple, very small, child-sized, wooden bowl, scratched and scarred, and worn in spots from long-past years of happy use. It was placed at the very center on a mantel above a warm and cheerful fireplace in a quaint and cozy, personal library in direct view of an old, comfortable reading chair. This quiet spot in the Lord’s library was obviously a place of intimate honor, reserved for such as a cherished, childhood toy from which its owner simply could not bear to part. The little boy wept happy tears and thanked his Father for this tender blessing, for he could see that he was indeed very beautiful in His Father’s eyes.
The eyes of the world, however, did judge this little boy as nothing special. His life was viewed as one of poverty on many levels, and yet he, himself, never once minded in the slightest. Because, deep within his peaceful heart, he always felt very rich, that is, in every way save one. You see, practically every day, as this little boy walked the path of his life, he would unavoidably pass by this amazing and colorful candy store, loaded to the brim with an impressive variety of differently-shaped glass jars, each filled with the bright promise of sweet, rapturous delight. And though he had not what it took to pay, he found that he could nary pass by without stealing a glance or two, and so the longing in his heart grew and grew.
For a season he found himself, face pressed permanently against the large, glass window, just staring with mouthwatering desire at each beautiful jar of brightly colored, amazingly shaped morsels, and he daydreamed about what many wondrous flavors must lay just out of reach. Remaining there transfixed, he watched attentively as boy after boy would enter the shop, money in hand, and sample a piece from each jar seemingly without a single reservation or restriction. For a moment the little boy felt envy and began to hurt from the circumstances of his poverty. But, only for a moment. For, like any diligent student, he watched carefully the expressions on the faces of those other boys, seeking the whole truth, so that, perhaps he might at least live vicariously through their experience. However, again to his surprise, what he saw was not what he expected.
Though at first every boy did wear an expression of pure joy from the intimate experience of each morsel, once they had progressed beyond the colorful, candy surface, the majority of their expressions changed to those of disappointment, sourness, or bitterness. Some even spit back out what they had just moments before so eagerly desired. For the many fruit flavors, though artificially enhanced, had been made from very poor quality ingredients. However, not every taste was disappointing. The experience of certain morsels was indeed good. But, the lure of all the morsels yet untasted caused most every boy to walk away from the quality jars and use up all their money. Only a few wise boys ever realized the quality they had found, and offered their every penny to buy the entire jar.
The little boy stepped back in bewilderment, and looking at the candy store as a whole, his eyes were suddenly opened to two important truths. The inside does not necessarily match the promise of the outside, and as samples are taken from each jar, less remains. He admitted to himself that, though he still enjoys all the many bright and beautiful colors, that’s all they really are; just surface color, displayed out in the open, free for all to see. In that revelation moment he realize that all he really wanted was one single jar of quality candy; a full jar to call his very own. All those fancy, outward, candy coatings had instantly lost their mesmerizing allure. He just wanted the real thing, with the truly good stuff on the inside.
Suddenly, to him, his predicament seemed all the worse. For, not only did he lack the means to acquire a jar of his own, how could he ever be sure which one was of a quality that was just right for him? How could he know the fruit without first tasting the flavor on the inside? Who was there who knew each jar’s flavor intimately and could guide him expertly? — Oh. Of course. His Father.
So, with all his heart he begged his Father, if it be His will, would He please give His child the money to buy a jar of his very own and guide him to just the right one. But, his Father gave him no money. Instead, He opened a door to a long-locked closet in that quaint and cozy library in heaven, and from up on a dark shelf He brought forth a very humble, ceramic jar filled to the top with plain, old-fashioned-looking candy. He blew off the dust of sleep and awoke the jar. “Here,” He said, “I have been saving her for a very long time, waiting until the day you were ready. She was made especially for you. It never did require anything for you to have a jar for your very own. All you had to do — was ask Me.”
And so, He filled His now-very-happy, child-sized, old, wooden bowl to overflowing with that humble jar’s high-quality, old-fashioned candy and then set her happily beside her bowl on His mantle, where He could enjoy them enjoying each other, and love them both at His pleasure.
You see, dreams do come true.