Monday, August 23, 2010

The Basket in the Bulrushes

I'm blowing her cover, but Asherel transported a pond snail across state lines and is harboring the alien life form in a small aquarium in her room. She claims her dad never technically said she could not bring it home from the Maury river, while he clearly forbade the little frog she saw there from joining our menagerie. So the snail, whose name is something like Ferdinand Charles Maury Alexander III, came from Virginia to Charlotte in her water bottle.

She researched the needs of a pond snail and told me it needed fresh river water twice a week. And lettuce. And a place it could crawl out above water so it could study Philosophy and train for a promising career. She set about building it a series of ramps out of duct tape that it could slither up to reach a platform where it could breathe dry air in its little aquarium and watch the world unfiltered through water with its beady little eye stalks.

For the "fresh" water, filled with all the microbes a pond snail considers delicacies, I saw an opportunity to trick Asherel into healthy outdoor activity. We would ride our bikes to the Greenway each week and collect creek water. I got out a water bottle for our catch-pan, and she recoiled.
"Not nearly big enough!" she said, "Ferdinand Charles Maury Alexander the III needs a complete change of water in his aquarium."
We foraged and found a huge old plastic dog bone container with a nice screw top. It didn't fit in my bike basket but we squished it halfway in and started off, the dogs watching us morosely. All they knew is a dog bone container filled with bones had been emptied to another container that was not their stomach.
"Bring duct tape," I told Asherel, since the container top was a little smashed.

Fortunately, the creek was quite full from recent rain, but the banks down to the creek were too steep for us to climb.
We paused on the edge of the creek and pondered this dilemma. Then my child, trained in Destination Imagination to use common objects to solve problems saw my bungee cord on the back of my bike.
"We could hook the bungee cord and lower the jar down," she said.
"But it will just slip off when it is filled with water. Water is heavy," I added.
"Then we can duct tape the bungee cord on!" she proclaimed happily.
She set about securing the bungee cord around the lip of the jar.
Other bicyclists passed by on the greenway trail, and swerved as they craned their necks wondering what kind of creature we must be after or what newfangled fishing pole we were constructing. Several wondered where they could buy one for themselves.

Asherel lowered the bungee jar into the water, where it settled.... and floated.
"Push it down!" she called, "Get a stick!" As I tipped its lip underwater, it quickly gurgled and filled.
"Lift!" commanded the Operations Manager.
As she pulled up, the bungee cord did what all bungee cords are designed to do...stretched.
The water was quite heavy. We joined forces and together hauled with all our might. Slowly the huge jar rose through the air. The duct tape held. With sweat dripping off our chins, we successfully hauled the water jar to shore.
"The Eagle has landed!" I cried.

Of course, the obvious next question was, "Now what?"
The 50 pound jar of water would not fit in my basket and would throw my balance off even if it could fit. I had a back rack , but the jar was tall and all I had was duct tape, and a bungee cord.
"Duct tape it to the rack!!!" called Asherel.
So she balanced it on my bike while we first bungeed it down. Of course since the jar was rounded, each time I bungeed one side the jar would roll from under the stretchy cord.
"Do it like a package string, criss-cross it," said the technical advisor to the mission.
That worked, though I knew with one bump the bungee would shift and the 100 pound jar of water would go tumbling.
"Now duct tape the bungee in place," said Asherel.
I did so, and mounted my bike. The jar of water weighed more than me.
We pedaled home slowly. The bungee/duct tape securing system held.
Asherel rushed inside to bring the microorganic feast to the lanquishing Ferdinand Charles Maury Alexander III.

It reminded me, as we lifted the basket of lifegiving protozoans from the river, that another clever young girl and her mother had once used creative Destination Imagination type problem solving to save a life. Instead of pulling a basket out of the river, they devised a clever basket to put something in the river, to keep it safe, and dry. They soothed the crying child as they lined his new home with pitch and laid soft plants against the tar for a dry and gentle cradle. Then they sent baby Moses afloat, but they watched and trusted that God would keep His hand on the vessel and bring their baby safely to the place he was meant to be. And the floating baby Moses was noticed by the Pharoah's daughter, pulled out of the shallow water where the basket bobbed in the bulrushes, and Moses was saved. Raised in a palace, it was Moses who one day would lead God's people out of slavery, and start them on the path back to God, the Promised Land.

All because a clever woman knew how to use duct tape and a jar....
well ok, bulrushes and tar but only because duct tape hadn't yet been invented.

Anyway, there are a lot of major changes in the wind in our life right now.... and usually that is true of most people. Alot of those things are scary, and we don't really know how we will manage- emotionally, financially, physically....
But if duct tape and bungee cords can haul a 500 pound jar of water and if tender reeds and pitch tar can be woven together to save a People....
there is nothing, nothing we can't accomplish when God is for us and our heart is stayed on serving Him.

Meanwhile, Ferdinand Charles Maury Alexander III is enjoying his organic soup for breakfast.

Romans 8: 31-32
31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

1 comment:

  1. One has to wonder about people who always have duct tape handy. ;-}