On the top shelf of the hall closet there’s a hand-made Easter basket, fashioned from square coasters and covered with baby blue paper. The side edges are punched with holes and are laced together with royal blue ribbon. My son’s handwriting is on the bottom, chunky in black Sharpie pen: Mom, I love you. Grant.
We made the Easter baskets four years ago, when my belly was round with Isaiah. I’d pulled our antique rocker next to the dining room table and watched the boys craft. “Mine is for a friend,” Grant said. I was grateful for his selflessness as he’d been struggling with contentment.
On Easter morning, the boys scavenged the house for their baskets and candy-filled eggs. When everyone’s treats had been found, three sons sprawled over the rug and delved into their goodies. Grant plopped down beside me. “There’s one more basket, Mom,” he said. “We’d better start to look.”
“There aren’t any more baskets, Grant. Everybody has one.”
“I know there’s one more. I’m looking.”
I became agitated. Couldn’t Grant be happy with what he had? Why did he think there was more?
Grant stood and poked around the living room. “It’s not here. I’m going to look upstairs.”
“There are no more baskets, Grant. No more. Can’t you be satisfied?” The sharp words were loose before I could pull them back.
Grant was quiet. He looked at me with wide eyes. Then he continued up the curved stairs. A minute later he returned with the small, square, baby blue basket. A milk chocolate bunny peeked over the side.
“Here, Mom. There was one more. I didn’t make it for a friend,” he said. “This basket is for you.”
I was filled with shame. “Oh, Grant. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me,” I said. “The basket is beautiful.”
“Sure, Mom,” Grant said. He smiled and pushed the basket into my hands. I ran my fingers over the lacing and regretted my response. Despite Grant’s quick forgiveness, I was overwhelmed with guilt. I wished I’d seen the wonderful in my son instead of looking for a shortcoming.
Grant grew a lot after that Easter, and the little square basket was the last of the hand-made gifts. It always makes me sad. It’s been tucked away for a long time. But this week I’ve been thinking about Jesus, trying to get my mind around what he did on the cross. And I’ve decided to pull that little basket from the shelf in the closet. I’m going to dust it off, set on the table, and fill it with something sweet. And when I look at it, I’ve decided that I’m not going to see my mistake and regret.
I’m going to choose to see something else.
When I look at that little blue basket from my son, I’ll see the Lord’s grace.
Thank you, thank you, Jesus…