When you move around a lot you can’t purchase big souvenirs. Big stuff means big moves. Means more packing. Means you need more space to show it all off. So during our years on the road with the BGEA my parents made a wise decorating decision: they re-purposed an old type tray to hold tiny special trinkets, often ones they found in a city where we lived. They didn’t buy great furniture. They collected great, miniature memorabilia.
That type tray is still hanging in my parents’ dining room. In each tiny cubbyhole is a little piece of our family’s history. When I visit, I like to spend some quality alone time in front of the type tray. It smells like Old English wood polish and cracked leather.
I gingerly pick up certain objects in the type tray: the one inch by once inch Bible (if you get a magnifying glass you can read it. It really is the book of John in the world’s smallest font.) Or my father’s white leather baby shoe or the thumb-sized, spray-painted chunk of the Berlin Wall. Also in the type tray is the little dog mitten my mom sewed for a dog who raced in the Iditarod the year we lived in Alaska.
When my six year old son was two years old he took a liking to teeny tiny toys. He wanted to always have one in his hand. I think he meant to call them, “littles” but the word that came out was “giggles.” It became his word for small special objects…giggles. It was the perfect word, one that our family adopted. And over the next several years he collected all sorts of giggles: tiny animal figurines, little trains, shiny rocks.
Last week I found an old type tray in my in-laws garage, so I brought it back home to Austin. I spray painted it and today I surprised Ace with it. He was speechless with happiness as he placed each giggle inside just the right cubby. I gave him some quality alone time with his type tray. But as I walked away I had to ponder it all.
Why do modest objects feel most precious in the end? Why does holding a tiny trinket make your heart beat faster? What is God’s love toward small, seemingly insignificant things?
Micah 5:2 “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.“
Matthew 17:20 “He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”
Psalm 91:4 “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.”
It is God’s pleasure to set us down right where we should be. He delights in the smallest of treasures. He wants us for his own. I have only to dwell in his delight and from there springs my felicity.