…these I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer…” Isaiah 56:7

She was rather quiet. She had come with her older sister, mother and father.  Her sister had visited us multiple times before with her Girl Scout troop.  I quickly greeted them and encouraged the eldest to go ahead and teach her family how to build a basket. I knew she had built them well in the past, and was confident she would do a great job in instructing them.

IMG_8013The rule goes that before candy is placed in a basket, I take a quick look to make sure nothing more is needed.  That way, the candy does not fall to the bottom when, and if, adjustments are made.  And that is when I met her.  She promptly, and rather quickly, appeared with a basket ready to be checked.  Quiet and hesitant she waited for my approval.  I checked a few things and off she went to get the candy.

IMG_8007Hardly saying a word, another basket appeared. Then another. She had gotten the hang of it and was eagerly building at a pace that was quick and steady. Each time I snapped a photo of her finished basket, she would quietly take it back into her hands and smile a little smile. Because she was so quiet, I wasn’t 100% sure how she felt about building. Most kids love to tell me all their thinking that went into the basket’s creation, but this young lady did not. And that was more than okay as each personality is its own.

IMG_7993It was later in the session when I saw the mom and two daughters with their baskets lined up by each other’s.  They were putting their candy in them and admiring each other’s work. All of sudden I saw it. The magic and delight that normally bubbles out of a soul building a basket.

You see, we have the great wall of candy in our basement. It is an awe inspiring thing to see in person, not that the pictures aren’t cool! And though, it is this immense amount of chocolate, sweet and savory bits of delight, it is not for the builders tIMG_7799o eat. In fact, we have a sign made up telling them why it is not okay to eat the candy that is donated. And most don’t. But we know how hard it is to work alongside a bunch of candy and never eat any so we place little bowls of jelly beans on our tables that the builders can munch on.

It was there that I saw a spoon rise in the air in a grand, waving-like gesture and heard her words right out happily, “A celebratory bean for finishing!” She gracefully offered one to her mom and sister with a slight giggle and a bright-eyed smile on her face. They each partook of her offer with more laughter and smiles.

I, too, had to chuckle. Utter delight and brilliant satisfaction at a job well done. Excitement and a beautiful desire to share with those we love all wrapped up in the pleasure of a simple jelly bean. The topping to a wonderful evening that had clearly filled her heart with overflowing joy!

Celebratory beans, indeed!

…for My house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples.” Isaiah 56:7




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