I found my favorite hat. It was missing for several weeks. In fact, I hadn’t seen it since we moved. I knew it was somewhere. It would soon be found. Still, it was gone.
This hat always occupied a special place, hanging on the bed post on my side of the bed. The fact that it wasn’t there did bother me more than a little bit.
I was sad when I could not find it when packing for Alaska. That meant it missed a return trip to Alaska, because it was no where to be found.
The discovery of its whereabouts was also bittersweet. You see this special hat was purchased in Victoria, British Columbia, when we visited there in 2017. It was imported from Ireland. Worn with affection for my Irish heritage. Worn proudly, because it makes me “feel like me” as no ball cap ever has or ever will.
Then, when I was in the closet retrieving my AirPods from the pants I wore today, much to my delight, I found it.
So, what made this a bittersweet discovery?
I found it in a plastic bag which contains my sweat-stained and frumpy work hats. It was inside my floppy old wide-brimmed safari hat, which I normally wear when doing yard work.
My heart was glad when I discovered it there. But, when I pulled it from this ignoble nest, I felt like I needed to apologize to my hat. How could I have been so thoughtless? Why had I just stuffed my special hat inside that dirty old work hat? How thoughtless of me, indeed!
I know it is just a hat. It has no feelings. But, still, I felt like I needed to apologize for treating it so poorly, for not honoring it as I should. After all, it is my favorite hat!
This set me to thinking of how we often treat that which is special to God, with apparent disregard for His feelings. How often do we put ourselves in musty old places that break His heart? How often do we treat the other objects of His affection in ways that dishonor them and their Heavenly Father?
This seems to speak right into the noble command of loving our neighbor as ourself. Second only to the command to love God completely, we are to treat as special all of the objects of His affection.
My favorite hat has regained its noble status! I returned it to its prominent perch on the bedpost. I will continue to wear it with pride. I will also have a fresh sense of purpose each time I put it on. As it makes me feel special, I will attempt to make others feel the same.
©️Bill Williams, a fellow sojourner
September 11, 2019