The last pumpkin of the season has been pierced, parched, peeled, and pureed. Now it sits in neatly labeled cups in the freezer and awaits a glorious return as a chocolate-bottom pumpkin pie or cake doughnuts or spiced muffins. All of it, that is, save four cups worth of that fluffy flesh. Those four cups will make two pies, which I am about to make.
While I was squishing seeds away from the gooey meat in the hollow of the pumpkin, my glistening hands came upon one seed starting to sprout. The thinly unfolding green shoot still clung to its sheath. It reminded me of my sons. When we take day trips to hiking trails or harvest festivals or favorite stores, my husband or I encase Joey's hand with our own. His is neatly tucked in our palm, just as our eyes rove to protect him and Ezra from any potentially harmful encounters. If we are hiking on a rocky trail, both boys are safely caravanned in backpacks; if we cross a busy road, we scoop them up in our arms and hold tightly; if we venture to a playground, we linger nearby in case their steps become uncertain.
I know we will not always be able to protect our children from the harms that float as dandelion fuzz about this world. But by taking the time to prepare them, they will grow into something greater because of our love and care. Young men with a heart for making positive impacts in the lives of others will benefit the world.
What are you doing, friend, that touches someone else's heart? How can you use today to paint a smile on someone's face?