What's in Your Hand?

What's in Your Hand?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Every story has a back story.

Today my son in law Nick and I talked about Jacmel Bay and sea glass necklaces. Each necklace has a life of it's own. At some point it could have been ballast from a long ago and far away time when Haiti was known as "The pearl of the Antilles". Cargo ships sailed into harbors and off loaded glass bottles and dishes and pottery into the sea to make room for the riches of Haiti to be stored in their bellies. Or perhaps it was not such a glamorous story and simply was a discarded item that was tossed over the river bank that make it's way to the sea and churned for a hundred years and then on the day of the sea glass hunt it was tossed onto the rocks on the shore of Jacmel Bay to be rescued and redeemed.
Then there is the back story of the person who found the glass and the person who fashioned it into a necklace. That is the story that Jacmel Bay tries to tell. When a necklace is worn it gets noticed. I am delighted that people like the necklaces because of their beauty. But that is not it's story. Simply being pretty is not a story. What happens every time someone comments on  necklace the story gets told..The wearer does not simply say "thank you". The wearer tells the admirer the story of Jacmel Bay artists and Joy in Hope. The story is compelling and worth repeating. It helps us to remember the pains of yesterday but offers hope for tomorrow. Jacmel Bay is not a business. It is a story.
I have shared how it all started. The scripture in Exodus chapter four when God asks Moses " What's in your hand?" The power Moses possessed was not it the staff. It was in his obedience when he threw it to the ground at God's command. That phrase "What's in your hand? has been the foundation Jacmel Bay has been founded on. Being willing to offer what ever pitiful thing that I might possess in obedience to God is very humbling. How could God use what I have in my hand? Like Moses I do not possess the confidence to speak or to lead and like Moses I question God wondering if I am really the one to walk this path.
Today while looking a facebook a sidebar on my page revealed photos from my daughter Gwenn's page. Knowing that these were photos of a sea glass hunt I clicked on it.  I saw the photo Gwenn send me last year of a young boy's hand outstretched with his sea glass offering. Just a small child of the streets with a dirty hand outstretched to give his gift to my daughter. The picture spoke volumes to me "What's in your hand??" In fact that photo has become my logo. And this is a back story. But not far enough back. Tonight as I looked at Gwenn's photos I saw HIM! Not a body less hand with white and green sea glass. Yes that but so much more! This picture was the boy himself. And I could see his eyes and face and smile. This was the back back story. A child. A boy. A dirty little boy, unsupervised, unschooled and very possibly on his own. A child offering what was in his hand. Delighting in his ability to give I want to be able to give like him. And now seeing his face I want to know his story.His back story may never be known by me.But his story is now part of the Jacmel Bay story. A story that must be told.

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