I have been cleaning out and sorting and going through things lately and I came across a large brown box in the back of the closet in the study. It brought back such wonderful memories.
Twenty-six years ago I was finishing my twelfth year of teaching a BSF class. I was going on to a new position and would be leaving the class and the leaders, some of whom had been with me for the entire time. There were women in the class who had been coming for many years. One day in our Leaders’ Meeting I cautioned the leaders about doing anything special for me at the end of the year. I didn’t want there to be a collection or a big gift or anything like that. Then I said that if someone wanted to do something as an individual they could, such as writing a note or something. I added, (and I should have known better) “Of course that means that I will probably get 400 crocheted potholders and I will have to write 400 individual thank-you notes.”
About a month later we were having one of our last fellowships together and one of the leaders came up with this large brown box. When I opened it there was a very clever note. It read:
Because we love you, we wanted to share to some small extent in the heavy work load in which you will be embroiled during this next year. Our sensitivity to your needs and to your expressed desires, led us to yearn to give you something extra-ordinary, a memento that would really spark up your life. We wanted something unique and special—something that would forever burn our memory into your heart. Yet we were eager to share something that actually could be used by you for years . . . and years . . . and years, in the normal heat-of-the-day activities.
We know that we cannot fully appreciate the difficulty of the task ahead of you with all of its new responsibilities. However, we longed to anticipate some of the scorching situations you might face, so that we could furnish advance help by providing you with adequate defense against such surging blasts. We also know that you are going to be constantly interfacing with a whole new group of people, some of whom may have scalding personalities. As a result you may, at times, find yourself in pressure-cooker situations. And humans, being what they are naturally, may easily reach their boiling points—even become too hot to handleYou need protection in the midst of such flaming attacks. Otherwise circumstances will be found suddenly ablaze, and you will be made painfully aware that you cannot get a good grip on them without a “little” assistance. It is with these thoughts in mind that we chose this gift so that it might shield you when the fat’s in the fire.
In loving appreciation for sharing so much of yourself with us, we share this of ourselves with you.
Children and discussion leaders ‘82
When I moved the paper aside I discovered about 50 potholders. Each leader had made or purchased a potholder for me and yes, some were crocheted. What a variety of potholders! Some were really lovely and some were not. Some commemorated a particular lesson that we had during the year. There were a number with swans, a feature in the teaching of John 15 that year. There were potholders of every design and color. There were potholders that were useful and some that were not. Some were embroidered and most had been personalized with the leader’s name or initials.
You might wonder why I have kept them. My youngest sister loves the story of the potholders and loves to look at them with me, so I have kept them. Now I have decided to give them to her. Besides, her closets are bigger.
previous ~ home ~ next