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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.

Japanese tea set

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.

floral teapot

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?

two teapots

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?


Thanks for sitting still with me today.

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