A couple of Easter’s ago, my Mum said she had ordered me a gift online. I knew it wouldn’t be chocolate, but other than that, I had no idea what to expect. Well, it was cleaning products. I imagine you’re thinking of plastic spray bottles with bright orange nozzles and gaudy wrapping. But, let me tell you, these were the most beautifully packaged cleaning products I had ever seen. They came in a brown cardboard box, not the Amazon type you understand, but the simple shoebox type where you just lift up at the front and open the lid. What sat before me was so pleasing to the eyes… a bed of finely shredded paper upon which nestled a couple of round metal tins and a brown spray bottle with beautifully understated labelling. I think I even took a picture of it, it looked so good. The products were made by a woman using traditional recipes shared by an older friend, and they worked a treat. I took great pleasure in cleaning my bathroom and kitchen sink in the weeks that followed.
One hundred days into Coronavirus shielding with my husband, three kids, and our lovely lodger, a book I was reading suggested I draw a picture of what I’d do with my time, resources and skills if there was nothing holding me back. Instinctively, I wrote in the middle of the lined page in front of me, “Help people find and know Jesus, and abundant life in Him, through…”. I then surrounded this with some of the things I feel God has called me to and other ideas that I’ve been sitting with lately, one of which has been writing. I’ve written a few talks here and there, mostly for teens at our youth group, but I’d not done much writing for a reader to actually read themselves. You know, writing that stays on the paper, rather than being spoken out. But I’m discovering that I love communicating, trying to take a truth and wrap it up beautifully to hand to someone as a gift that they might take great pleasure in. The glorious truths of the gospel can easily get lost in bland or cheap packaging, marketed as something to help get the job of life done, rather than something to behold and enjoy. So yes, my Mum got me cleaning products one Easter, but there was surprising joy in receiving those gifts. I genuinely treasured them because of the simplicity and care that had gone into making them and presenting them so attractively. And so I think I’d love to try and take the simple, timeless truths of the gospel, and use words to help others unwrap them, and find joy in using them as they embrace the daily tasks of life.