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Do you have a container somewhere in your home where you collect all the loose change from your pockets and the bottom of your purses? Somehow over the span of weeks, months and years the change accumulates and you wonder how much might be in the jar. Well, we have had a jar in our kitchen, a jar that is so big that it would take at least 10 years to completely fill, and this past weekend we went to a local store and had it counted and returned to us in dollar bills. The amount was fun and surprising.
The jar had not only accumulated US dollars but other currency as well, including Pesos, Canadian dollars, Israeli shekels, Euros and British Pounds. As we filtered our coins through the machine the unrecognizable coins made for a handful of foreign change, and so my winter tale begins.
Amidst the pennies were a number of British coins and just the day before I found out that I would have to return to the UK (my home) after two years living in the USA. It's all been a bit of a whirlwind but somehow this surprise news and the little handful of British change in the palm of my hand lead me to see the hand of grace in my life, yet again.
These past two years have seen me serve as a volunteer at a non-profit and see changes and choices abound in the search for transformation, restoration and experiencing the fullness of life. Slowly but surely change has happened and its taken valleys, mountain tops, jars of change in kitchens, sunsets, cups of tea and the many faces of friends all over the world.
I was reminded recently of the longing and waiting that happens at this time of year, and my experience of the big jar of change inspired a new idea for me. The collection of coins in this way is a slow process, just like the process of change itself. We collect little experiences that change and challenge us to make the most of this life. We all know that the coins and memories would someday become much more than a little loose change. We throw the coins in with a greater long term purpose and unconsciously enter into the reality that we are in process.
And so, the lesson of my little winter tale.
We can collect our experiences and often not take the time to review and see what God wants us to see, even in our waiting and our longing our experiences have been collecting and this jar of coins taught me the power of presence and witness. In the warm light of an open fire and a sparkling Christmas tree I wonder what it might feel like to take these experiences and memories of our last year to God and have them counted. How might our experiences, as this year, this century ends encourage us to mark the changes, remember the challenges and inhabit the memories of God in our midst. To take account of the little change and to know that the light of Salvation draws near and shines on it all.
As I head back to the UK with a little change (and more) in my pocket I am excited for the things God has already ordained. This morning I read Hebrews 11 v 2: "By Faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made things that were visible." May the mystery of faith and the Holy moments in our stories lead us to experience the little changes that testify to a greater purpose. Be encouraged dear friend and be intentional with the time you have in this busy season, there is a lot treasure in a little change