God and I talk quite a lot, and sometimes we even have crazy conversations. Last night was one of those times. I reminded Him that I still needed a topic to write about for today’s blog post, and so I asked Him what B should stand for in my writing for the A to Z Challenge. Immediately I seemed to hear an answer:
B is for Brooms.
I thought that perhaps I hadn’t heard correctly. So I said, “Excuse me? B is for what?” Again, there appeared to be an instant reply:
Brooms. You know, like the thing you use to sweep the floor.
I really wanted to ask, “Why, Lord, of all the great and wonderful things on this earth beginning with the letter B, which you created I might add, would You pick brooms? I’m not saying there is anything wrong with a broom. At times, I’ve even been thankful for them. Yet it just seems like a curious topic to me … “
But before I could finish asking Him my question, a familiar image popped into my head:
“Aha,” I smiled. “You want me to tell the broom story? I like that story. But do you think Jon will mind?” Without even the slightest of pauses, I clearly heard the answer resounding in my head.
Nope. He’s good with it.
What a relief! Knowing that Jon really had no choice but to be okay with me posting this story, as he obviously couldn’t go against what God had already told me, I am ready to share one of the funny events from our first year of marriage.
A couple of years ago, Nathan heard about this trick in which you could get a broom to stand up all by itself. If there is anything Nathan loves, it is a trick. As I recall, he spent a significant amount of time, researching this trick on the internet, after which he spent an even longer period of time working under the carport, attempting to make our broom stay upright.
Once he got the hang of this trick, Nathan called all of his siblings. Of course, each of them had to give it a try. Megan, determined not to be outdone by Nathan, practiced doing it until she was able to have the broom stand alone as well. Soon an entire gang of neighborhood children had gathered up on our driveway to watch this impressive trick being performed by my children.
However, all that applause wasn’t sufficient to satisfy the kids. They decided to conjure up a plan intended to impress their dad. It was nearing time for Jon to return home from work. The kids put the broom, standing at attention, right in the middle of spot where Jon parked his car. Their plan was to hide inside and watch his reaction as they peeked out of the windows.
I’m sure it would have worked wonderfully well if it weren’t for one small problem. The slightest bit of breeze caused the broom to topple over. There was no way to ensure the broom would stay standing.
The kids quickly decided to move their broom trick inside the house. This time they stood the broom upright about 4 feet from the door, in the middle of the foyer area. No matter which way Jon decided to go in the house, he would have to walk right past the broom. To add the the brilliance of their plan, they placed the dustpan on the floor next to the broom. It looked as if someone had been sweeping and then forgot to put the cleaning supplies away properly. To further set the scene, all the kids grabbed books and situated themselves on chairs around the living room, nonchalantly appearing to be engrossed in their reading.
The house was full of giggles and whispers right up until the moment Jon’s car pulled into the drive. Silence. Then the sound of the car door shutting and footsteps approaching. The anticipation was heavy. No one dared to breath for fear of laughing and giving away that a trick was being played.
When the door opened, Jon stepped inside the house, and turned to set down his keys. “I’m home. How’s everyone here?” he asked.
“We’re fine,” came a chorus of replies.
“Good. Well, I’ll just go wash up so that I’m ready for dinner.” And with that, Jon walked right past the broom as he headed for the bedroom.
Five sets of eyes looked at me, surprised and unsure. I shrugged my shoulders, and whispered, “Maybe he will notice when he returns.”
A few moments later, Jon returned. He walked within a few feet of the broom, put his hands in his pockets and began to ask the kids questions. “How was your day? Did you learn anything new?”
For the most part, the kids gave him one word answers, but none of them was willing to engage with him about the day. None of the kids dared to look at him for fear of bursting into peals of laughter, and yet they could hardly stand not to look up. Several long minutes passed. Jon gave no indication he had even seen the broom.
Finally, Maddie spoke up, “Haven’t you noticed anything, Dad?”
“Well … did you see the broom?”
“The broom? Yeah, I see it.”
“No, look at it, Dad. Don’t you notice something strange about it?”
By this time, the kids were giggling uncontrollably.
“It looks like a broom to me … a broom that someone forgot to put away. What’s so funny?” There were hints of frustration in Jon’s voice.
“It’s … it’s … ” The kids were laughing so hard they couldn’t answer. Finally, one of them managed to say, “The broom! It’s standing up by itself!” Tears were racing down their cheeks as they laughed uncontrollably.
Turning to look at the broom again, Jon rolled his eyes with feigned disgust. “Well,” Jon said with a grin, “if people would put brooms away when they are done sweeping, there would be no reason for brooms to stand up in the middle of the room!”
I love the broom story. Each time my family remembers it, we laugh. And seeing that we sweep often, the memory of that afternoon is recalled at least two or three times a month. While hopefully it is somewhat entertaining to read about, there is also a spiritual lesson I’ve learned from it over the years.
You see, my husband Jon is many things . A man of prayer. A generous giver. An enthusiastic encourager. A gifted song writer. He is loyal, hardworking, faithful, full of laughter, and eager to help others in need. I could continue on, because he truly is a wonderful man. But he’s not perfect. Just like other men, he’s lacking in some areas. And one of the things he seems to often miss is the details. He doesn’t mean to miss things. He just really doesn’t notice.
The problem is sometimes he doesn’t notice things that are important to me. When that happens, I often end up with feeling neglected or perhaps rejected. That’s never been Jon’s intention, but there are still those occasions.
The broom story serves to remind me that my husband may miss some big things, and I may not be able to count on him to catch all the details …even the ones I think are obvious. And that’s okay. I can rest assured he still loves me.
It also reminds me God doesn’t miss the details of my life. He is the master of details. In Luke chapter 12 (verses 6 and 7), Jesus said, “What is the price of five sparrows? A couple of pennies? Not much more than that. Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And he knows the number of hairs on your head! Never fear, you are far more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.”
I am encouraged every time I consider the truth of how God, the Creator of everything, is not just in the big details of my life. Rather, He intimately knows the tiniest details of my life. And He never misses anything.
The Lord gazes down upon mankind from heaven where he lives. He has made their hearts and closely watches everything they do. ~Psalm 33: 13-15
What about you? Are you detail-oriented? How do you feel knowing that God is familiar with all the details of your life?