Becky accepted these teachings, but lately, life seems to be heavy on the burdens, and pretty light in the blessing department. Her mother seems to be slipping despite her weekly treatments and huge amounts of medication, her dad is constantly worn to a frazzle spending long days looking for work, and now Becky’s simplest pleasures are tainted with troubling events.
Becky was sitting on the park bench, a tear running down her cheek, ever so gently holding the baby bluebird. There was a stiff, damp breeze, the sky getting very dreary with heavy cloud cover, and it was very cool. All the residents of the park must have sensed the sadness in Becky’s heart, because there was total silence, it was morbidly quiet.
Becky could feel the little chick hopping around in her loose grip, with it’s left wing stuck out straight, seemingly locked in that unnatural position. The caring young girl felt so bad. The infant bluebird was trembling; scared, cold, and probably in a near state of shock.
Becky had been on her way to watch the kids play ‘Jacks’ and Hopscotch down by the tennis courts, when she spotted the little creature hopping near a park bench in the garden trail rest area. It was scampering frantically, but it continually fell on its left side every few hops. The bird’s left wing was stuck straight out, injured or deformed, its oversize beak was wide open chirping loudly, and its eyes were bulging with fear.
Becky had some trouble getting down to retrieve the baby bird, laying her aluminum crutches on the bench, and adjusting her knee braces so they would flex enough for her to kneel and retrieve the panicked bird. The sadness she felt for the injured bluebird was compounded by the fact that she had no idea what to do with the animal. But at least she could protect the infant from the cats and the other predators that frequented the park.
She carefully tucked her skirt around the chick to contain him while she straightened and locked her knee braces back into place. She was sure someone would pass by that could help her, or at least give advice on what to do with the disabled bluebird. She just hoped they would arrive before the ever darkening early spring clouds let loose with more icy rain, sleet, or possibly another snowstorm. The low clouds were moving much faster now, the treetops were starting to sway and bend in a very cold breeze.
Becky was using her crutches as a prop to get to her feet, when she thought she heard a noise. Nobody was coming down the trail in either direction, and there was nothing but lilac bushes behind her. Glancing around, Becky let out a high pitched yelp as she spotted a very young boy sitting on the only other bench at this rest area. She was sure that the lad had not been there a moment ago, but there he was, deep in thought, admiring and toying with something in his hands.
“Excuse me, could I get your assistance please?” Becky politely asked. “I wonder if you could help me with a baby bluebird that appears to be injured.”
The lad slowly raised his head and gave Becky a comforting smile. “I don’t knows much bout no sick birds, I be just passing through.”
The boy was only about six years old and his face was almost as dirty as his clothes. He had shiny ebony skin, like Jamaican people can have, his litter-strewn and matted hair was almost three inches thick. His T-shirt might once have been white, he wore soiled bib overalls, and amazingly, he had no socks or shoes, the lad had to be freezing. Without even a shiver, the lad was quietly caressing what appeared to be a stone.
“Oh, I’m sorry. I was hoping you lived around here or you might know someone that could help mend or shelter this poor creature. I suppose I could take the bird home and see if my folks could get it to a veterinarian.”
After a moment of silence, Becky said: “I do not want to be rude, but you look like you could use some sheltering also. Are you staying in the area? You must be cold! If you care to follow me home, we could get some lunch and my mother could probably come up with a coat and something to cover your feet.”
“My feets fine,” said the lad. Then smiling, he extended his right hand, adding, “I gives you my Glorystone for dat bird.”
“I don’t want to trade anything for this bird, his wing is injured, he needs medical help.” Now skeptical, why would this boy want an injured bird?
“Girl, you ever touch a Glorystone?” asked the grinning lad. “I worked a lot of days to get dis rock! It was worth every minute of dat work too! Think now, you best make the swap.”
Becky had a bad feeling about this conversation. She felt that it would be wise to move along. “I never touched a Gloryrock, and maybe next time I will be able to look at it. I better get this injured baby bird home so we can take it for medical attention. It was nice talking with you.”
The boy still had a warm smile and a joyful gleam in his eye. Softly he said; “I would like to see dat bird. Please Missy, hold my Glorystone.”
“I should have been home an hour ago, I don’t want to upset my parents, I better get on my way. Have a nice day.” Becky slid the bird into her coat pocket, put her arms through the crutch cups, and started moving away from the bench.
The boy stood, holding the Glorystone up in front of his face, and in a slow but firm voice he said; “Wait girl, its time you got some faith! Many folk passes by diamonds in de rough, nev’r knowing the treasure dey passed up. Dis bluebird is just such a gem. You wants everything to be made just right don’t you? Let me see what I can do. Don’t be afraid, dis won’t hurt at all. Holds on to my stone and we’ll see what glory awaits us.”
Now Becky was very nervous, controlling a tremble, but she halted. She slowly retrieved the bird from her coat pocket and held it out in both hands in the direction of the boy, “Please be careful, he’s so tiny.”
The lad approached with his right hand extended, offering his Glorystone. It was a dark green oval, with swirls of white, black, and pink running through it and it had flecks of sparkle. It was the size of an egg, smooth, and very shiny. It seemed warmer than body temperature in Becky’s hand.
Soon Becky found she could not take her eyes off the stone; it seemed to emit a sense of well-being. Suddenly, the air seemed calm and the chill was gone. A smile came to Becky’s face as she thought she heard children laughing in the background. She found she could only think about her most treasured memories; her huge orange cat, her grandmother and the special cookies she baked for Becky, and her family’s joy on Christmas mornings. The stone felt like it was getting warmer all the time.
Mysteriously, the stone seemed to wiggle. Cautiously, Becky slowly uncupped her hands, and to her amazement, she was holding the bluebird. The little creature had its beak wide open, it was now making a peeping sound, and its wing was perched back along its body. The baby bird had stopped shaking and trembling. Both wings flapped out and back in short strokes as the bird tried to walk on Becky’s soft hands.
Becky was overjoyed, “You fixed him, you cured the wing, how did you…” Suddenly, Becky realized she was alone; she was talking to no one. She looked around in amazement; there was no sign of the little boy. The Glorystone that she had been holding was gone as well.
There seemed to be no evidence the lad had been there, not even footprints, but there was a beautiful song in the air. A pair of bluebirds were perched in the low lilac branches, looking and singing in Becky’s direction. Smiling, Becky sat the baby bird in the grass in front of the lilacs, and then she quietly moved away.
The young girl’s mind was trying to comprehend the morning’s events. Finally deciding that there was no logical explanation, she was happy to just accept the outcome without question. She had never been so calm, so much at peace with her life. She now felt God made the earth a wonderful place.
The wind was blowing stronger and the temperature was dropping as Becky started for home. Small pellets of sleet started to pepper Becky’s face. As old oak leaves skittered across the trail, Becky thought she saw something pink tumbling along the path. As she approached, she saw a beautiful lace handkerchief flitting in the breeze. The material was fine linen, the lilac lacing was superb, with embroidery in lavender.
As Becky continued down the trail towards home, she noticed an elderly lady dressed in a fine tailored suit, stooping beside the old flower beds. The lady was searching under the shrubs and bushes for something. Becky made her way up to the lady and said, “Are you looking for this?” holding up the antique handkerchief.
The older woman broke out into a huge smile and politely bowed to Becky, “My dear, you can not possibly know what great joy you have brought to me, finding my heirloom handkerchief. This belonged to my grandmother and mother; I wanted so much to pass it on to my daughter. For a while, I feared it was lost forever, how can I ever thank you?”
Becky told the lady the handkerchief was flitting down the path, she had only done what anyone would do, and she was very pleased to return the prized possession to its rightful owner.
The lady was dressed in fine apparel; she wore an expensive looking brooch, and had very fancy bejeweled rings on both hands. She tucked the handkerchief into her leather bag and then reached in deeper, retrieving a coin purse.
“I insist that you accept a little token of my appreciation, and I will not take no for an answer. Let me see if we have something appropriate in here. Ah yes, I think this will do.”
Becky could hear the rattling of coins clinking in the purse as she said, “Madam, I really don’t want anything for doing a simple act of honesty. I need to be heading home, I’m afraid I’m going to be late, as usual.” Becky gave the woman a smile, and was about to swing her motionless legs forward when she spotted the sparkling dark green stone being held just above the ladies handbag. Each glint of light from the hundreds of sparkles was brilliant. The stone almost glowed. Becky was once again entranced.
The lady had a warm smile as she softly tapped the stone on her coin purse, saying in a near whisper, “Wait my dear! It’s time for a little faith! Many people pass by diamonds in the rough, never recognizing the treasure they have overlooked. You are just such a jewel. We want everything to be made just right, don’t we? Let me see what I can do to ease your burden. Don’t be afraid, this won’t hurt at all. Please hold this stone and soon we will see what glory awaits us.”
(C)opyright 2007 Gary Grenier All Rights ReservedSend us your comments on this article