What’s in your tool box?

To me the three most important words in the Bible are God is love. Some may read or hear these three little words and say OK, God is love. While these words are deceptively simple, when I read or hear these three words I believe that God’s love is wider than the oceans, deeper than the seas, and higher than the mountains. His love is full of hope with the rising of the sun each day and peace comes with its setting. His love is as warm as the sun and just like a plant I raise my face to feel its warmth, stretch out my arms and whirl around skirt billowing out as I twirl and sway to the rhythm of the chant - God is love, God is love, God is love. At night wonderment fills my soul when the sky is full of a million, billion, trillion, zillion stars and I think - this is what I CAN see - imagine the possibilities of what I cannot see or has not yet been revealed to me.

The first words in the Bible are “In the beginning…” but today is about this beginning. This beginning saw the arrival of a new school teacher to the Greenock School just across the road from the Emerson Family farmhouse.

The Emerson son spied his little eye on the school teacher and on September 27th, 1940 Roberta Marjorie Thornton married Frederick Murchie Emerson at the home of her parents, Ralph and Alice Thornton.

The newly weds moved into the family farmhouse with his parents Harry and Della, sister Muriel and Audrey, and Harry’s sister Lillian and her daughter Irma.

Marjorie and Murchie like all newly weds had hopes and dreams. One, was for a large family. In 1948 the dream was expanded to a nest of their own and the arrival of their first little chick, Janet Elizabeth.

The dream for more children was still their hope. Heartache was to be theirs with the birth of a stillborn son, however, their capacity for loving was ever in their hearts and there would be two more additions to the family.

Ross and I shared the gift of being chosen children. And we shared with Janet the fact that Marjorie and Murchie were our chosen parents.

And now to Ross. Ross was born January 8, 1950. A little boy with curly hair which would lay flat on his head, well, wooly like a little lamb. And little lamb of God he was for when he was born I hear the echo of God’s words….It’s OK little lamb, you go, I have great parents just waiting for you….and here’s a little tool box - and inside I’ve put this little slip of paper that says God loves you and just remember, I am always here for you.

So this little lamb waited and waited and waited from January until November for the arrival of his chosen parents who had him christened Ross Murchie Emerson.

We three children each had our own little tool box which with our little reminder - God is love also had added to it - faith, hope, love, dreams, friendships, aunties, uncles, cousins, a love of nature, food, clothing, shelter and the list just goes on and on.

Many things can happen with tool boxes.

• When we leave home this tool box gets packed up and taken with us. Sometimes it gets lost with too many moves and we have to start filling our tool box all over again.

• Some people take their tool box, pack it away, and bring it out every now and then and say - gosh, I’d forgotten I had this.

• Some people know exactly where it is, and from time- to- time open it, admire the contents and pack it carefully away again.

• Some people pack it full of any THING and every THING because they might NEED it some day.

• Some people take their tool box full of peace, joy, contentment, love and everything imaginable for a life of walking in sunshine and it springs a slow leak. Over the years it is opened only to find in utter disbelief that everything has slowly seeped away.

And then, there are people who take their tool box with them all the time. They always seem to have just the right tool they need to cope with whatever is sent their way - joys or sorrows.

These people understand that one must be ever mindful and use due diligence to ensure that what goes in or not they decide for if we leave it to others we may get what we do not want or need.

These people always check to make sure that whatever goes in their tool box is exactly what they need. They unpack their tool box on a regular basis to keep it in good working order.

These people know that just like tithing of money that gifts given come back tenfold. If these people check their tool box and find that they are getting low on something in their tool box - it might be kindness, compassion or joy - they give what they are low on and just like tithing it comes back tenfold.

The contents of our tool box should represent the definition of who we are and who we want to be. What’s in your tool box?

The contents of Ross’s tool box lets us know for sure some things about him:

• that even as a small boy Ross was a heavy duty equipment operator. The ditch on the side of the road across from the house had many roadways built with his toys. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrr could be heard when this little boy was hauling a heavy load of pulpwood along one of these boyhood roads. He was destined to do this as his life work and he was good at it.

• Ross was a friend to many, remembered names and was good about keeping in touch. Thank you to his friends and neighbours who were so kind to him especially when he became wheelchair bound.

• Ross was compassionate telling us about this person or that one whose life was filled with sorrow - tough times for them, yep, yep, yep, tough times.

• Ross was generous - one friend said he was the kind of person who would give you the shirt off his back

• It took little to make Ross content

• Ross had a great sense of humour and loved a good story

• Ross loved his family, loved Geraldine, loved her family and they too have been so kind to him.

On the Sunday afternoon before Ross left their home in Lynnfield he phoned. We had everyday business matters to discuss and then he said to me. “You probably won’t believe it but I love those girls like they were my own, you know, Gail, Nicole and Taylor….I paused before I responded: “I believe it”. Ross said - “I thought you might not believe me”.

And I had the perfect response and really was the only one who could share this moment with him…………” but Ross, that is exactly how Mum and Dad feel about us….we’re family of the heart just like your girls”.

Here we are barely three months since Ross lost his rudder - Geraldine. Life being life there is always a balance - one loses, one finds. For Ross, he found himself. I believe that Ross in finding himself, a person loved and loving, found the memory in his tool box of the whispers of - God is love.

These last two weeks were especially blessed for Ross as he was surrounded by the love of family and friends. When Ross told me his prayers had not been answered, I phoned Janet, she phoned Pastor Gord who even on holiday responded to the bleating of our little lamb.

Ross phoned Janet after Past Gord had visited him and left this message - “Your preacher has just been to visit and he’s a real nice fella”. The message that followed on Janet’s machine was Pastor Gord who said “I’ve been to visit, and all is well”.

Little did we know that Ross’s dream of his little apartment on Rushton Street just waiting for his arrival was to let him know that dreams can come true. Only God had a much bigger plan for Ross - a Mansion on the King’s Highway.