Posted by: janpierce | January 28, 2008

Three Nuggets

Dan Zimmerman, our good, gifted artist and musician friend has written a song about mining nuggets of gold from the Word each day. It is such a beautiful melody and the lyrics are rich with meaning. I’ve been thinking about that imagery as I go through each day here in India. Much of what we see is so heart-wrenching there is no category in my American mind in which to file it. A beggar woman with several children who aggressively tapped my shopping bag insisting I give her something, the knowledge that the orphans need all kinds of medical and dental attention which they will not receive, so many sad things. But what nuggets of goodness are there to be gleaned each day? How to “sift the day” and have eyes to see the valuable, the hopeful and the good?
Yesterday we visited two different villages and attended their services. At the first service there was an enthusiastic young pastor with a beautiful strong singing voice leading his people in worship with all his might: one nugget. In that same congregation there were the usual gorgeous faces of the children and young women. But one older face, a woman in her thirties I would guess, caught my attention. She wasn’t the prettiest and wasn’t remarkable in any way except for the expressions on her face. She listened intently and responded with such deep emotion and understanding as the testimonies were given and as the various speakers’ words were translated. Her face was full of joy: another nugget.
In the second village there was a large family gathering in honor of the newly-deceased matriarch of their seven daughters and two sons. It was a family reunion. People had traveled long distances to return to this, their home village. Many were obviously city people now – more prosperous than the villagers. There was one couple who took responsibility for hosting us. They have been missionaries to Japan and live about 180 km. east of here. They were so gracious to us. The wife made sure we found the bathroom facilities and had the necessary soap and water. They served us at a table and gave us the only silverware available They served us bottled water and seven up which is an additional expense. They were exceedingly kind and made us feel welcome. That was the third nugget of the day, great kindness
As I contemplated the entire day with the bumpy car ride, wind-blown hair, varying stages of culture shock, tensions as workers do or don’t properly do their jobs in the maintenance projects, frustrations over not being able to teach as my room is being painted, I sifted out the three nuggets, enthusiastic leadership, sincere joy in hearing God’s truths, and quiet kindness extended to unknown guests, and I treasured them.

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Responses

  1. What a good reminder to look for those nuggets each day wherever God has placed us. I am glad you are seeing God at work all around you, even though you are frustrated too!

    Would you believe we had a snow day on Monday. What fun! There was not even an inch of snow but school was still cancelled.

    Looking forward to reading more of your adventures!

  2. Mom,

    I REALLY relate to the “nugget” approach to daily frustration/mundanity survival. πŸ™‚ I’m glad you’re able to find them amid the “other stuff.” My own personal nuggets for the week are:

    * Baby Benjamin balancing on a milk crate, shuffling wide-eyed through the kitchen.

    * Jacob offering me his crusty cup of used water when I lay sick on the couch.

    Jacob has also taken recently to calling people “nugget head” as a HILLARIOUS mock-insult. “Nigh-night, nugget head” for example. I’m thinking there may be some deep spiritual insight there, do you think? πŸ˜‰

    * Elijah telling me what a good mom I am. πŸ™‚

    * Jon’s cousin, Steven, visiting from NY, and building the boys a gigantic snow cave.

    * finding the time finially to begin reading the “Why Not Women” book you gave me–and thoroughly enjoying it. Looking forward to chatting with you about it when you come in March. πŸ™‚

    I love you mom. May you find many more treasures in your remaining trip!

  3. What beautiful nuggets you found today. You have refocused by mind on the important things. One I remember from yesterday was enthusiasm of a new little art student when I showed her the new paint box. With wide eyes she declared, “I love the colors of art! They are the colors of the world!” I wonder what beautiful pictures she is dreaming of painting.

    I’m praying for you today.

  4. Wow. Like Cheryl said, you are an amazing writer. This whole idea of nuggets is very interesting to me. A nugget is small and we must miss them so much of the time. They can seem inconsequential if you are in a hurry but can be a great source of hope. But you have to slow down. They also say something about our expectations in life. Sometimes I don’t pay attention to nuggets because I don’t see it as a solution to my seemingly bigger problems. But who loses there? It’s a good reminder:) This blog posting is my nugget today.


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