They are nestled securely in nearly every household junk drawer. Their unique size, shape and finish leave us guessing what their original employment was. Once useful, they are now members of the jobless, homeless, heavy metal “groovy” band of brothers -- the Loose Keys.
Rifling through my junk drawer (and that’s what we all do, unless you are June Cleaver), I came across the neglected assembly. Were they the lost souls of the key society, the penniless drifters, the down and outers? What about the shiny one that appears to be a newcomer? What’s its story? Was it recently laid off?
Further study revealed much more than their disadvantaged service; it brought back a rush of memories.
One key belonged to the back door of the home we had moved from several years ago. Another was our daughter’s spare key to her car; actually one of several, as it was a common practice to lose her keys. A silver key marked with pink nail polish reminded me it belonged to my sister’s apartment, but she no longer lives there. Not sure why I’ve kept it.
Then I uncovered one of those odd shaped keys, very tiny and delicate; the kind you know fits neither a car nor a door. This key belonged to a small wooden box that resembled a treasure chest I had received as a gift several years ago. It was now home to several personal and family valuables, but I’ve never locked it.
Finding the key prompted me to reopen our box of valuables. Going through it took me on the most wonderful journey, having never left my living room.
The first was a palm-sized New Testament given to my husband by his great-grandmother when he was only ten. Next was a 1926 Language Primer issued to my would-be-father-in-law in 1934 from a tiny one-room country school.
Tears filled my eyes as I held the copy of the first letter I had written to the family of my transplant donor. It holds a place of honor among my treasures, along with the page torn from a calendar the day of my surgery. Beside it was a hand written letter by our comedic son his first year of college. I broke out into laughter.
Pictures, cards, napkins, brochures, and my grandparent’s tattered and dog-eared Bible replayed years of memories sparking laughter, tears, thankfulness and wonderment. Near the bottom, I found precious tokens of bereavement from loved ones I miss dearly, sharply snapping my mind back into the living room.
My journey that day began with a key, which led me to a wealth of my life’s treasure. A brief exploration through my special wooden box would reveal precious memories of my family and friends, the generosity of mankind, but most of all, the hand of God at work in my life.
Father, thank you for the little reminders that You lovingly and ingeniously place into our hectic lives to freshen our spirit, stir our souls and bring a smile to our face. I pray we be ever attentive to Your leading, that we might recognize those God moments and praise You in and for them. You are the Ever-loving and Everlasting Father. Amen.