Monday, May 9, 2011

Little Brown Job (a story about littleness)(and brownness)(and a turtle)(and a mom)(and a sparrow)(oh, just read it)

Did you have a nice Mother's Day? I hope it was completely wonderful. But if it wasn't, cheer up, 'cause I have a story for you.

Once upon a time, there was a girl. Despite her very feminine inclinations, this girl loved frogs and toads and turtles and yes, even snakes. She loved their little guts out, much like a boy does. But she was not a boy. She was a girl. I already told you that. Now, here is something else you should know: I am the girl. I mean, I was the girl. I am a woman now! Yes, mama, I am a woman, a real woman. Ain't life magical?

Was I in the middle of something? Oh, yes, my story. Yes, this is important. You, see, the girl had a mother, which makes this story perfect for Mother's Day. The mother was not particularly fond of reptiles and amphibians, but she was fond of her daughter. Very fond. In fact, this girl happened to be her favorite child, but she never told anyone, so don't ask me how I know that. 

One day, the girl could no longer deny the yearning in her heart. She wanted a turtle of her very own. She wanted to hug him and squeeze him and call him George. She must have a turtle! The mother, in her wisdom, knew that unfulfilled longings in a young girl can cause insanity and premature death in the mother due to incessant begging and whining on the part of the young girl. Follow?

So, one day, the wonderful mom took the girl down to the creek with a net and some sort of a container like a pickle jar. There they found a rather ugly softshell turtle swimming about. It was love at first sight for the girl. The thought of being so close to owning such a creature gave the girl goosebumps, which was weird, 'cause it was like a hundred degrees outside. After what seemed like hours trying to catch that slippery little turtle, the mom and the girl were sweaty, a little cranky, and very hungry. So, you know what that mom did? She whipped out her knife, fashioned a spear from a twig, harpooned some fish, and quickly cooked them over an open fire. The fish was so tasty, the girl forgot all about the turtle forever.
The End.

Just kidding. What really happened was that the girl realized the turtle was an impossible thing to catch, and she started to cry. But the mom did something better than cook fish. She told the girl something true that the girl would think of often in years to come. She told the girl that God cares about little things. She told her that He knows the desires of our hearts and that we can talk to Him about anything--even things that may seem silly. Well, the little girl believed what her mom said, so the two of them said a little prayer about the turtle. They asked Him to help them catch the turtle. Sound silly? Well, it was not silly to the girl. It was important enough to cause goosebumps in the summer. And you know what? It was important to God, too. Not so much about the turtle, but that this girl would have her faith and trust in God grow that day. 

Right after they prayed, the amazing mom caught the turtle! And the girl rejoiced and thanked God in her heart. He loved her! He got her a turtle! And she loved the turtle. But while she could call him George all she wanted, she could not really hug him and squeeze him. So, she took him home, put him in her aquarium, and fed him brine shrimp and raw liver. 

It wasn't long before the girl became disenchanted with the turtle. She had to clean out his tank, which required catching him, which as we now know, was no simple task. Also, he was stinking up the girl's room. The turtle could possibly have ruined the girl's life. He might have bitten her finger off or given her salmonella. So, back to the creek the turtle went, which is where he always wanted to be anyway. The girl was okay. The turtle was happy. The mom was pleased.  

The End For Real
Moral of this story: Never capture wild animals without a license.
Okay, here's the real moral. I wrote this story down because it's nice to remember that God really does care about little things. I love having the kind of relationship with Him that I would with any close friend. The sharing of big and little things makes for a more intimate relationship I think. If I only go to God with the big stuff, then it feels like I am treating Him like that "big guy up there." And really, He is so much more than that.

Jesus cares about the little things. He teaches us about them in His Word:

Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
Luke 16:10

The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25:40

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet, not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Luke 12:6-7
Look at that. Five sparrows. Only worth two pennies. And yet, not one is forgotten by God. Really? With all that God has to do, He remembers all the sparrows? That is amazing. He really does care about the little things. Even every little hair on your head.

I have bird feeders, because I love to watch birds. Honestly, I would much rather see one of these at my feeder than a sparrow.
Sparrows are nothing more than little brown jobs to me. They are common, unnoticeable ground feeders. They blend in with the litter they forage in. They eat the leftovers that get kicked to the ground by the more beautiful, interesting birds at my feeders. Sorry, sparrows, you are not my favorite birds. But don't worry! God notices you, even if bird snobs like me don't.

You know, there are days as a mom that I feel like a little brown job. I seem to blend in with the furniture around here and no one hears my wise instructions. Ha. Ha. I eat the leftovers off my kids' plates after lunch, because I didn't take the time to make something for myself. No one really takes note of the things I do in a day. At least that's how it feels sometimes. I know this isn't just true for moms either. We all feel like little brown jobs at one time or another--a little insignificant speck in a great big world.

So, let's encourage ourselves with the truth! I know I need it. Jesus said that we are worth more than many sparrows. We are in fact, very valuable to Him. He cares so much about us. And we can be sure that if He sees every sparrow, He certainly sees us! We may feel like no one will ever notice or remember all the loads of laundry we have folded, but Jesus sees. He knows. He sees that smile you gave your co-worker when you really didn't feel up to it. He sees that toilet you're scrubbing, girl! He sees you paying your bills and wondering if you have enough in your account to cover it all. He sees the loaf of bread you baked to take to your neighbor. He sees you put that stray cart back in the the cart stall at Walmart. He sees you wipe a runny nose in the church nursery. And He sees you hold open the door for the little woman who is walking at a snail's pace.

We just never know what little thing we do may affect someone in a big way, like my mom praying with me. To her, I'm sure that was just one little thing among hundreds that she did that day, but it made a difference to me. So be encouraged! Stay faithful in the little things, so that you will be equally faithful when the big things come. Talk to God about every little thing. He loves to listen. His ears don't get tired. And if you are feeling like a little brown job today, check this out:

All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold. In embroidered garments she is led to the king;
Psalm 45:13-14

That's you, princess! (or, er...prince, if there are any boys left reading this.) Yes, the children of the king are NOT little brown jobs. You are glorious! Your gold is sparkling! It's blinding my eyes! Now, go, do what you have to do, just don't get ketchup on your embroidered garment.

And thanks, Mom for all the little things!


  1. Made me want to cry...don't know if I am just overdone or it was that great. I think it was that great. But I also think I am overdone. Pictures of cute little girls who are now grown women and longed hair mommies who are now grandmas make me want to shed a tear. It seems life is passing circles of change--lives here are temporary and passing. That feels insignificant. Yet, it is true, you said and God says, he cares about the little things. Sparrows, Turtles and even "to do" lists that are way to long. Maybe the things that God cares about most aren't even on my "to do" list. Maybe I need to let my list go to pot and go pet a turtle.

  2. Rachelle, I had no idea that you were such a talented writer! Thanks so much for sharing - I needed to hear this today! (and not just the part about someone else disliking sparrows - i watched one kick a beautiful couple of bluebirds right out of our bluebird box! ugh!)
    I can't wait for your next post!
    Amy Dillingham

  3. I really loved this, Rachelle. It's such a good reminder. I thought it was so ironic, reading this after spending Mother's Day at the creek, helping Hannah with her desperate desire to catch a crawdad. :)

  4. I really don't have time to comment as I would like, but know that I am thankful for you.

    Love, Amber

  5. Aah! I finally was able to read this tonight. What an adorable and beautiful story -- and a lesson for us all. You are such a treasure, Rachelle. Please don't ever stop writing. Carrie


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