What Really CAN Fix Everything

May 14, 2010 | 28 comments

I’d gone and lost it. I mean, it was right there on the front seat!

But somewhere between the newspapers, and the postcards and the McDonald’s sacks, and those books I needed to return, I’d gone and lost it.

“Girls, have you seen my medal anywhere?” I asked them. They looked under the car mats and in the trunk and in the glove compartment and between the seats.

Did I mention it was my medal? It was the emblem that they had dropped over my head — bent down all weary, chin-to-chest — after running those 13.1 miles. It was the gilded proof on a ribbon that said: She did it! The girl who was always picked last had accomplished the completely illogical!

But I’d gone and lost it. It looked like this. Have you seen it?

I emailed the farmer, who’s been at his desk these rainy days. Could the repairer of tractors and broken toys and skinned knees fix this problem?

“I’m so sad!” I wrote. “I can’t find that stupid medal from my run.” (Somehow if I called it stupid, it might ease the pain a bit?)

I continued:

“I let Lydia take it to show-and-tell, and she brought it back. It was in the car this weekend. But I’ve looked everywhere and can’t find it. I’m worried that I’ve thrown it away with McDonalds sacks or something. By any chance, have you seen it???”

When he came home, the Daddy who finds all lost things couldn’t find it either.

“It’ll be OK, Mommy,” Lydia said, and those eyes had sorrow right on the edges, ready to spill over the rims.


She was right: it will be OK. But I kept searching anyhow.

Check the drawer where you keep your jewelry, the youngest said. But it wasn’t there.

How about behind the washing machine? she suggested. Not there either.

I even called my mother — because that’s what we do when we lose things. We ask: “Mom, have you seen the … (fill-in-the-blank).” Does it matter that she lives 100 miles away? (And no, she didn’t know where it was either.)

So I dug the garbage can clean out, coffee grounds matting my arms and those banana peels clinging all slimy on hands that clawed furiously.

And this is what we do: We dig through the stinking, rotting messes to keep hold of the idols. We cling tight to the gilded, with our fists clenched and knuckles bulging. Oh, that we could open our hand to real Treasure!

I search for what I cannot grasp.

“Girls, girls,” I call out. “Are you sure you haven’t seen it?”

They come to me, side by side. The oldest has the words: “Mommy? We don’t mean to be mean or anything?” (Which of course means the next words will sting a bit) … “But you’re getting kind of annoying.”

But, but … Did I mention it was my medal?

From behind her back, she pulls the one she’s made out of yarn and a penny. She’s gilded it in silvery duct-tape.

And this is what really can fix everything — not the duct-tape, but The Jesus in my girl.

I pull her in close and choke out thanks to the child who knows real treasure. Yes, she’s right, I was being annoying, and I know it’s OK to be a little bit sad, but mostly I smile. Because who can resist this treasure I’ve been given? Who can resist this life of real worth and value, which makes all else seem as rubbish?

His Word says it, too, but it sometimes makes me bristle, because letting go is so hard. He tells us: Count it all as rubbish, because compared to knowing Me, that’s what it is — a bunch of stinking garbage.

“But Christ has shown me that what I once thought was valuable is worthless. Nothing is as wonderful as knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. I have given up everything else and count it all as garbage. All I want is Christ and to know that I belong to him.”
— Philippians 3:7-9 (CEV)

Today, Lord, may we let go of false idols and open hands so we can reach out and hold tight to You. Yes, you are real Treasure. Amen.

by | May 14, 2010 | 28 comments


  1. ~*Michelle*~

    with a tear in my eye…..I, too, celebrate The Jesus in your girl.

  2. Rosario

    Once again you have spoken to my heart. It is amazing how we search for things that are lost. We even look in the garbage. Well, God looks for us too. He even searches the garbage to find us sinners. This is an epiphany moment for me. As for finding missing things, when I ask God to help me find them, he always gives me a hint. St. Anthony is a good intercessor too.

  3. Lyla Lindquist

    (Did you find it?)

    So glad the coffee grounds and banana peels didn't make it into the picture of your hand. Promise me you wore some gloves or something… I was twitching a little over that…

    So, shoot. Now I'm not sure the best way to pray for you today. I believe I'll be giving God "multiple choice."

    Blessings to you today, and no matter how He opts to play it, I'll be rooting for you to find it.

  4. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Thank you, ~*Michelle*~ — Big hugs to you today; you're in my prayers. ((((MICHELLE))))

    Rosario, I so appreciate you.

    Lyla, I KNEW it! Just knew you'd squirm. No gloves, sorry. 🙂 … And no medal. I think it's long gone, truly. I like the idea of the multiple-choice prayer. You make me laugh today.

  5. jasonS

    Powerful and amazing post, Jennifer. Yes, we do get knee-deep in the garbage and waste to find those idols, but we bristle at the thought of wading into the human suffering and messiness of being His hands and feet. Lord, help us see clearly as He does!

    Knowing Him is the only thing. Thanks so much for this post.

  6. Deidra

    I was reading this and thinking about that passage in Philippians. And then I got to the end of your post and there it was…the very verse that was leaping up in my mind as I read your words. That is the heart of the matter…the heart of Jesus wants to know and be known by us.

  7. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    oh, what a precious little one you have! Isn't it just like our babes to get right to the heart of Jesus! Sometimes they teach us in such innocent ways.

    Love to you Jennifer!

  8. Glynn

    Parenting doesn't get much better than this, when a heart opens and another heart responds.

  9. elizabeth

    So, so sweet!

  10. Karen

    This was so precious…what a legacy you are leaving your children!

  11. RCUBEs

    Ahh. the things we learn from babes! Another powerful lesson of where our true treasures are. Blessings to you sister.

  12. alicia

    I am sitting here with tears in my eyes… your little one is so sweet( with the exception of calling you annoying, but when they're right, they're right. What can you do?!) But the homemade medal is so special!
    Great analagy!

  13. Anne Lang Bundy

    Oh, Jennifer. I think losing that medal was worth it for the one you got to replace it, for the lovely post which came from the whole story. I'm so blessed to read this. *sigh* : )

  14. S. Etole

    tears and smiles at the same time …

  15. Laura

    Oh, Jennifer. If my arms were long enough, I'd hug that girl of yours right now. What a sweet, sweet spirit. Just like her mamma.

  16. Tea With Tiffany

    This was beautiful and so revealing and true. I relate to this search for something I earned or care about. 🙂 I love your homemade medal even more than the other one. Made with love, by your girl. What sweet love.

    This verse grabs my heart every time. I want to live for HIM and not my medals.

    Love your heart.

  17. Modesty is Pretty

    Oh My! I don't thinks there's a time I've read a post of yours without wanting to cry, but not a sad cry, an emotional cry for my Jesus, our Jesus. How wonderful us He. And your posts are truly amazing! God bless you and your beautiful family!

  18. Stephani

    Not just a tear, but a down right boo hoo hear as I sit at my laptop! A beautiful lesson, and a treasure that moth and rust cannot destroy! God is so good.

  19. Candy

    What joy! That apple of your eye didn't fall far from the tree.

    And I'm sure you'll find it when you least expect it. And when you do, it will be a "so what?" moment.

  20. Michelle

    This post is beautiful. I did not know what I would read hear today…always good! As I read I did not see the word `idol` coming. I once lost my high school ring, I knew I had dropped it in the trash. I wasn't gonna dig through that yukky trash. Even tho I had picked out the very ring I wanted. It was the dinner ring style. Sometimes I still think about that ring, if only I had dug for it I would still have it.
    Our children are always there to brighten our day. I believe the medal your daughter made is so precious and may mean more than some medal. Just like when our children pick flowers for us, be it weeds or those straight from our garden, those moments are precious. They have the heart of Jesus.
    I have an award for you on my blog, I so hope you take it as I give it, from my heart to yours.


  21. Bina

    That was the most beautiful thing I have read today…and the most hurtful to the pride that still resides within:
    "We dig through the stinking, rotting messes to keep hold of the idols. We cling tight to the gilded, with our fists clenched and knuckles bulging. Oh, that we could open our hand to real Treasure!"

    Thank you…as always,

  22. Beth E.

    What thoughtful, loving daughters you have! This brought tears to my eyes, too!

  23. redeemed diva

    Thank you for this post. Thank you!

  24. Missie

    Your children are such an amazing blessing! They touch my heart!

  25. Andrea

    Thank you for stepping all over my toes, Jennifer! I needed to hear your timely words!

    What I call important, God may call an idol! May I cast all my rubbish into his fire for him to consume!

    Powerful post!



  26. sharilyn

    what a lovely, compassionate heart you have in your girls…
    what treasure God has given you…
    what a blessing that you have eyes to see….

  27. annkroeker

    It seems like any time I get something new that I might like to enjoy for its freshness, newness, shininess, it immediately is scratched, broken, ripped, or lost.

    Every time.

    You'd think I'd learn the lesson, but apparently not. I guess I cling more tightly to this world than I ever imagined.

  28. Prairie Chick

    crying here. smashing idols. every day. and reaching for the only Thing that fulfills.


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