I have always been “curious”.
Even as a little girl, I would spend hours sitting on the concrete floor of my grandfather George’s garage as he worked on cars.
He had many toolboxes but the one I was always most interested in was his Craftsman toolbox that stood almost as tall as he did.
Because my mother worked until 5 most days and was taking night classes at Walter's State Community College to earn her drafting degree, my grandfather and I would sometimes spend the whole evening outside, pausing only to eat dinner when Nannie brought it out.
From the first day I sat with Grandaddy, he told me the rules: “Don’t touch anything!”
And I didn’t for the first few weeks, until one day Grandaddy left to see family in North Carolina.
I waited for my grandmother to turn on The Price is Right and I snuck back into the garage.
One by one, I opened the drawers of the tall, red toolbox, removing tools and holding them up to the sun to see them sparkle. I don’t know what got into me, but I decided to take some of the sockets out of the drawers and put them in my pockets.
I didn’t think he would miss them.
I walked down to the creek that ran behind their home and squatted down at the edge. I reached into my pocket and began to take the sockets out one by one to place them in the creek.
But before I could finish, I heard my grandmother calling for me to come inside.
The next morning, my grandfather returned from North Carolina and started working on his car again. When I came out to the garage he asked me: “Chris, have you seen my sockets?”
I immediately started to cry. “They’re in the creek!”
My grandfather was stunned. “What? How did they get in the creek, Crystal?”
“I put them there!” I said as I sobbed harder. “You had so many other ones. I didn’t think you would need them so I took some down to the river where the sun shines on the rocks. They look so pretty down there!"
My grandfather sighed. “Well you’re just gonna have to go back and get them!”
And with that, I walked back down the hill to the creek to retrieve the sockets.
When I returned, my grandfather took the wet sockets from me, dried them off and began to place them back in their rightful place in his Sears toolbox.
“I know they all look the same when you first look at them," my grandfather said. "But they each do something different. Some of them help me to tighten small screws while others help me to tighten larger bolts. Some of them can even expand the tools I currently have to make a whole new tool! This is why you should never assume something is worthless because it is common. There is value in ALL things."
That is how we are as humans. Yes, we share similarities, we all have hair and bones and teeth and arms and legs. But we also each have a unique gift that can only be used a certain way. God made us that way!
Are you able to see the unique gifts in others?
What is your unique gift?
Mama. Wife. Poet. Teacher. Maniac.