God going behind us and before us
Perhaps fear of the unknown and the brokenness from World War ll turned my small town into a haven of bias against those who were different, including the one Japanese family living in Shelley, Idaho.
Mr. Inouye worked with my Dad in a potato warehouse. When his six-year-old son died suddenly of pneumonia, no one came alongside this grieving family. No one except my kindhearted parents. And the two families became friends.
In a gesture of gratitude, the Inouyes gave us a beautiful tea set from Japan. It has been on display in my parents’ home for nearly seven decades.
Yesterday my Mom gifted it to me. I have teapots from around the world and was excited and honored to add this one to my collection. When I brought it home I began looking for the perfect place to display it.
That’s when another Japanese teapot on my bookshelf caught my eye. This one was passed down from my mother-in-law. She brought it on the ship with her when she and her two-year-old son, Johnny, left Tokyo for Washington state to join her Caucasian American husband.
My parents befriending this wonderful Japanese family now feels like a foreshadowing of the Japanese American family that I would one day join.
In these days of turmoil and uncertainty, I find joy in displaying these two Japanese teapots together reminding me of God who placed them both in my life. Could the first have been a sort of foreshadowing of the second?
God…You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and You’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too – your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful – I can’t take it all in!
PSALM 139: 5-6
God behind us and before us. Isn’t that a comforting thought?
Pull up a chair and sit still
Do you have an object or perhaps an experience that ties your past to your present with God’s name written on it?