“Yeah, today we are going to the pumpkin patch,” said my little girl. “I can’t wait to pick out the perfect pumpkin.”
We arrived at the pumpkin patch at one o’clock. My daughter excitedly got out of the car and ran over to the pumpkins. I couldn’t help but to smile at her excitement. It was contagious.
“Which one can I get daddy?” She jumped up and down. “What about this one, it’s nice and round. Or this one, it has a long, green stem and is also round, like a basketball.”
“You can get whatever one you want. Let me know when you find one. In the meantime, I’ll look for the one I want and mommy will look for the one she wants,” I replied.
It wasn’t but a few minutes when she yelled out that she found the one she wants. We put it in the wagon, along with the one I picked out, as well as her mom’s pumpkin.
My daughter noticed the ones we picked out and giggled. “Daddy, yours has bumps all over it and it’s crooked. Mommy, yours isn’t even a pumpkin. It’s more like pieces of a pumpkin. Whatever will you do with it?”
We told her it will be a surprise and she will see tonight after we carve them.
We arrived home and unloaded the pumpkins. We put newspaper down on top of the kitchen table and we started to carve them.
We started with our daughter’s first. We cut the top off around the stem and the most terrible smell came out. Even though it was beautiful and perfect on the outside, it was rotten on the inside.
We then started to carve mine. We cut the stem off and the most wonderful, sweet smell came out of the pumpkin.
I couldn’t help myself to teach my daughter a life lesson.
“People are a lot like these pumpkins. What looks beautiful on the outside could be really rotten on the inside. And I don’t always mean rotten in a mean way. They could look like they have it all together, but really they are sad and hurting inside. That is why you really have to get to know people, not for how they look on the outside, but for what is on the inside. Then, when you get to know them, you really have to try to know how to help them when they are hurting inside.”
“Then, look at my pumpkin. You laughed at it because it was not perfect on the outside. It has bumps and scratches and is a little bit crooked but on the inside, it is so beautiful. That is why you have to love everyone and get to know everyone. You never know who is the nicest, kindest, most wonderful person until you get to know them. Don’t not like someone because of the way they look.”
My daughter said she thinks she understands, but then she said, “What about mommy’s. It’s all in pieces.”
Then we sat and watched mom do what only moms can do. She put that pumpkin back together, piece by piece. She wrapped it in tape and love. It was the most beautiful mess of a pumpkin you could have ever seen.
“So what about mommy’s pumpkin. It looks like a puzzle, but not all the pieces are there.”
“Let’s have mommy explain it to us,” I said.
Then my wife, my daughter’s mom spoke with the wisdom that I love her for.
“Well, you see this pumpkin was broken. We don’t know why it was broken, maybe other pumpkins picked on it, or maybe someone kicked it or dropped it, or maybe the pumpkin did something to itself that made it this way. We don’t know. But what we do know is that with a little love and kindness, that the most broken people are loved and can give off the brightest light when they are given the chance. God loves all of us, the beautiful ones, the rotten ones, and especially the broken ones.”
We then put our candles in each of our pumpkins and we all lost our breath when we saw the light shining through all the broken pieces of my wife’s pumpkin.
Our daughter then said, “wow, the light from the broken one shines the brightest. It is so beautiful.”
Mended by Matthew West-
Beautifully Broken by Plumb –
The Wound Is Where The Light Gets In by Jason Gray –