Their favorite spot in all the world - and they were right in the middle of it on this Saturday.
The 14 teen girls all circled around Gram's kitchen table, having already turned off their smart phones and parked them next to Hope's open Bible. There was something almost magic about that table. It seemed to melt all the hearts, young and old, into one heart that fenced out any hurt or hate.
Hardly had Candy Cane finished with her prayer for Hope's continued recovery from her fall, than Hope's silver-haired husband, Ross, entered the kitchen and asked permission to share a couple things. He took a seat so all the girls could see him and placed a cardboard box containing something on the floor beside him.
“All you young ladies,” he began, “were expected to be OUR students here in this kitchen. And we're thrilled some of that has happened. But you girls have turned the tables on Hope, I mean Gram, and I. This past ten days you've shown us we were wrong. Actually we were wrong about each of you. I'd better explain."
"Gram and I had lumped each of you into the bucket of today's youth that seem to be traveling in a cloud, not knowing where you are at and which way to travel. But worse is that so many of us silver-haired folks figured you had no more heart; no more caring for others than those cellphone gadgets there on the table. Well... Hope and I apologize to each of you for judging without knowing you.”
“You got the word out, about Hope's fall, when no one asked you to. But you cared. You cared each day, to bring over get well cards, that Geranium plant, and several meals. Hey guys, I mean girls, you are good cooks. If I was your husband, you'd have me fat in no time,” Ross said with a big grin of admiration. He continued. “Way back before any of you were born and they didn't even have electronic stuff, my mom taught me that when someone does you good, well, ya do 'em back. And quick!”
Ross, Hope's silver-haired husband continued his words to the teen girls. “My Hope and your Gram decided we wanted to make it clear as crystal that we feel honored God has led each of you to our home.” He stood up and held the box open as Gram gave each one of her girls a rather small box and a cheek kiss. Gram directed, “Go ahead and open your gifts.”
Each jewelery box was opened with the same oohs and aahs as though each neckless within, was a personal rainbow; their own promise to be friends and helpmeets always.
Looking in Ross' direction, Hope said, “OK dad. You skeedaddle. The girls and I have work to do.” With his cardboard box now empty, but a heart bursting with joy, Ross headed for his favorite tilt back chair and a waiting newspaper.
With eye-hugs for each girl, Gram thanked each of them for their show of love. She began with a question, “Let's say that somehow you knew the fried baloney sandwiches the school cafeteria was going to serve tomorrow, was positively yucky, would you let each other know? If Becker Street was blocked off because of a water pipe break, so you couldn't get home that way, would you let each other know? Well, sure you would. And I would too. Though fried baloney usually isn't all that dangerous, you and I care enough about each other to send out our warnings. I'm proud of you.”
“Now let's be honest here. You know even better than I, there are ugly-acting evil people using cellphones and that tweetin' stuff to take you places you shouldn't go and hear things that should be flushed. You know that, I'm sure.”
“Well, I want each of you girls to try something next week. In among your other tweets, I want you to tweet a warning to each other and maybe even someone you know that isn't here today. Here's the warning, that you can word a little different, if you want to. The warning says, “Hurtful speech is like a mean tweet, once sent, cannot be erased.” Hope added, “the warning is less than 70 characters so that should fit in a tweet, along with a few of your own words.”
Gram handed each girl a pencil and a small piece of paper to write the warning tweet to be sent.
The girls were each careful taking home their neckless gift. It must have been Julia that first tweeted the other kitchen teens with a question, “The gold cross in my neckless has red on all four cross points. Does yours? What gives?”
WOW! What warnings you can tweet to others about their NOW and their ETERNITY.
Can you tweet others about those gifts you've received, to be cherished beyond words?