When my wife was in the States, she saw, spoke with, hugged, and reconnected with many, many friends. Sometimes, you don’t know how close you are to someone until you are separated from them by thousands of miles and many years. What a joy it is to discover the closeness that is now present and manifest as you touch hands once more over the space of time and distance. One such friend, gave Karen a small envelope to bring back to Africa for me. When I got it, I dumped its contents into my hand—and wondered. The picture on the right is what the envelope contained. Then I read the words that were on a small piece of paper included with the three objects. It read:
PENNY: The penny is the least of our coins. To many people it is almost worthless, yet the penny is more than it cost us for Jesus to die for us.
CROSS: The cross is not a relic of some thousand years ago. It’s a symbol and a comfort that is with me wherever I go. Its message is simple; its meaning is clear. It’s kept as a reminder of what it means to me.
RED BEAD: The red bead represents the blood of Christ that was shed for us.
I now have these things in a small, cloth pouch that I will carry with me wherever I go from now on. Not just to remind me of the what the three items symbolize, but also to remind me of the love and connection that still exists between me and friends whom I no longer see but carry in my heart. Thank you, Joanna, for your gift which means more to me than you can know. Thank you, too, to all of you who live so far away and who I no longer see and talk to, but who I carry in my heart, which, thanks to the sacrifice of Christ, is now big enough to carry all of you.