There is a stick about 8 inches long lying on the floor of our car. It's up front on the passenger's side. And, if you look in the back seat, you'll find a yellowing ginko leaf.
Every time I get in the car I see these two small things, which appear to be so out of place, and I smile.
Two weeks ago we were in Columbus, Ohio. We had four days with our 16-month old granddaughter, Ella. (Aka "Beautiful Ella.") We walked her to a nearby park where she picked up the stick and began hitting different pieces of playground equipment with it. She would rap it on the metal slide and hear one sound. She'd hit it against the plastic steps and hear another sound. She would whack it against the trunk of a tree and hear something very different.
Sort of simple. But a delight nontheless.
Then, on the way back home from the park, I pushed her little, pink car (she has a steering wheel and everything) over to the side of the street where piles of leaves had gathered. (I think it was some kind of leaf conference or reunion...) I picked up the ginko leaf and handed it to Ella. She didn't let go of it when we put here in the car seat.
It's been two weeks. The stick is still on the floor of our car. And the leaf is still on the back seat.
I open the door of the car, even on this snowy day, see the leaf and the stick - and smile.
They are reminders of the presence. Of one who is loved. And whose very existence makes everything else different...and better.
The other day I looked down, noticed the stick, and thought of the scene described in Luke 22:19 (RSV): "And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying, 'This is my body.'"
A reminder of the presence.