Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A New Life for Donkey

Our home has a reputation for animal rescues (13 kittens found, fostered and adopted in 2013, "The Year of the Kittens") and we've extended that hospitality to people on occasion, but I didn't realize it included stuffed animals until yesterday. Saturday, my 11 year old daughter Chloe found the sad evidence that the puppies had gotten her beloved stuffed donkey from camp and given it the usual canine vampire treatment: chew off the button eyes, creating a hole to pull out all the stuffing (all over the house), leaving simply a lifeless skin. Truth be told, I had noticed the latest "victim" earlier in the week, but wasn't too concerned. She only has 1262 other stuffed animals; she wouldn't even notice this one. Ahhhh, but there I was mistaken. As she cried angry tears, furious at Gonzo for eating the mascot of his own namesake, I remembered that this one was special and I felt bad. But as the drama tornado gained velocity, and before the real damage started, Chloe was "invited" to her room to chill out. And I got back to watching my movie.

After some time, I noticed Chloe was engaging in some top secret activity. If I were in Mama Sleuth mode, I would have put together the clues from her questions like, "Mooooom, do you know where my sewing kit is?" And Mooooom, where are the buttons?"

But I wasn't prepared for her reveal. Giddy with excitement, from behind her back she pulled out the little donkey, brought back to life.  She had re-stuffed the little guy, sewn his little body back together, and replaced his right eye with a button, waaaay cuter than the original eye. But the best part was the eye patch on the left eye. Apparently that hole was too big, so donkey was just going to have to live with one better-than-before eye. I squealed with delight as she showed me and she beamed with pride over her good work. But her care for donkey did not end there. After all, he had been through quite a trauma and she needed to keep him close to make sure he was ok. While she ate dinner, she made sure he got sustenance, too. Of course he couldn't be expected to walk after such an injury, so thankfully she still had that baby doll stroller. And he needed a safe, comfy place to sleep, under the watchful eye of his concerned mama! 

Chloe has once again humbled me.  What I had discarded as beyond ruined, she saw as fixable. With a little time and attention, she restored her beloved donkey, in some ways literally better than before. How much more does our Heavenly Father love us? When we feel beyond ruined, God can restore us. What hope, what grace! A reminder through the eyes of an 11 year old child of God.