Brown paper lunch bags have always been exciting to me. Yeah, I know. On the surface they are pretty boring. A bland, earthy color and that signature smell. But when I see a brown paper bag I immediately think: Special Occasion.
I always took a lunch box to school. They were pretty stylin’. I had one I was super proud of – a Golden Girl, Guardians of the Gemstones Thermos brand box. I’m pretty sure Golden Girls was a She-Ra knock-off (you know, He-Man’s twin sister), and the Golden Girls I love now are a few years older than these warriors.
But the days I got to forego the lunch box and take a brown paper bag were special. Brown paper bag = field trip! Not only was the bag special, so were the contents. My mom would always pack a sub sandwich, not the standard turkey with mustard, and I’d usually get a can of soda, too. Super special. Plus, all the deliciousness goes down whilst on a field trip, having fun with my classmates. What could be better?
This. This is way better.
My 5-year-old son came home from preschool the other day with this special bag. He made it on his own accord during some free time. He explained its purpose as he showed it off. If I ever miss him, I can reach into the bag and pull out something that will make me remember him and make me happy. Inside the bag are four red paper hearts (Those are hearts on the front too. Not animal tracks).
As he handed it to me, I thanked him and explained that there is never a time that I don’t miss him. Truth be told, I really like going to work and I enjoy my adult-time away, but yeah, there is always that yearning to be close to these little people that came from me.
At bedtime he suggested I take the bag to work with me the next day in case I needed it. Actually he suggested it three times. Then he asked if I could please leave him a note that says, “I love you, Liam. Love, Mama” in case he needed it. And that’s when it all clicked. How could I be so dense? Sure he was concerned that I would miss him, but he knew that was a possibility because he was missing the heck out of me. Needless to say, I left him a note. Two actually.
Looking at this special Missing You Bag, as I’ve dubbed it – a thing, that on its own, is just paper – I’m reminded of how God surely misses me sometimes and how I miss Him when I am far away. God has given all of us a gift that is similar to my son’s.
On its own it’s just paper, but inside is a message of love.
Whether we are feeling discouraged, confused, or alone, we can reach into the Word of God and pull Him (love) out anytime. To someone else, it might seem boring – like that plain brown bag. In fact, compared to so many other things, it is super-basic. It’s a book. But it’s a special gift that reminds us we are being thought of always, and when we are craving that irreplaceable, indescribable love, all we need to do is reach in.
Copyright 2017 Abby Brundage