She dreamed of it from the time she was a little girl. Someday, beyond the tomorrows, she would be big enough to have her own. A beautiful silver locket.
Some girls scoffed at the idea of a locket. They didn’t want one or need one but they got one anyway.
Some girls threw theirs away.
Some girls had dozens. They swung about their necks like swaying pieces of heaven.
Some girls nearly crawled under the weight of their treasures, crying, wishing there would not be so many.
Some girls treated them with distain. Leaving them, neglecting them, allowing them to be tarnished and misused.
It seemed that they were everywhere so the girl never dreamed that when she was old enough there would be no locket for her.
Not even a little one.
Not even a broken one.
Nothing at all for the girl with the dream.
She searched for discarded ones. Perhaps she could dig one out of the dirt and restore it? She didn’t need a new one. A used one would do.
One time she found one, tiny and precious, about to be thrown away. Maybe, maybe this one would be hers? But the other-girl rose in furry. “It’s mine,” she insisted.
“But you don’t want it,” the girl pointed out, hope brimming.
The other-girl just scoffed, “It’s still mine.” Then she proceeded to crush the locket to pieces, un-savable silver dust, blown in the wind.
In desperation the girl went to the only place she knew: the top of the hill, just outside of town, where the Locket-Maker worked and lived. She knocked at the door and creaked it slowly open at the deep, “Come in” that echoed.
He was tall and dark with a warm comfortableness around him that freed the tears that had been threatening to fall. The girl stood for some time, at his doorway, taking deep breaths and wiping away droplets of salt-water that stained her cheeks.
The Locket-Maker stood and walked closer. “What do you need, dear one?” He asked.
“P-p-please, kind sir,” she whispered, “May I please have a locket?”
“There are many lockets in the world,” he said.
“I know,” her voice strengthened, “But I have longed for one of my own. Please, I would treasure it always.”
He took her arm and led her outside. Together they looked over the town below them. “I know,” he answered, “I know your heart. I have watched you learn to care for and protect my lockets. This is good. You can help others.”
“But, Mr. Locket-Maker,” she tried desperately to explain, “many won’t listen to me. They don’t believe that I know how because I don’t have my own. If I could just have one, even a used one or a lost one or a tarnished one, anything. Then I’ll help others. I just,” she paused and motioned with her arms, “I just long for something so precious, so valuable. Something to give me purpose.”
The Locket-Maker looked at her thoughtfully. “Does it have to be yours to be precious? Do you have to possess it to offer it value? Can you, will you, be willing to polish and protect others lockets simply because I made them?”
The question made her heart shake. She knew that he could just make her one. It wasn’t hard. He had the supplies. She knew him well. She had spent days in his workshop. They talked often. Shared deep secrets. Why would he ask of her something like this? Why let her heart long for something he could provide? Why ask her to serve the very ones who were neglecting the gift she dreamed of?
She wanted to cry. To beg. To plead. But when she looked up into his eyes, something stopped her. More questions filled her mind.
Was it possible to love the created more than the Creator?
Did she love him for who he was not just for what he could give?
If he tore away her dreams, would she still remain his?
Then the questions seemed to change their form. They melted together and one burning inquiry remained. It was as if his heart beat out, “Do you love me?”
She fell to her knees at the top of the hill. Had she loved him just for what he could give her? The question mattered little now. The only thing that remained was her answer. Did she love him?
“I do,” she whispered, “I do.”
Through the seasons that followed she saw that everything the Locket-Maker did was to ask the deep-deep question of all hearts, “Do you love me?”
To some he gave lockets and lockets and lockets and the weight of their care brought them to his door.
Others received lockets only for a short time and when they shattered and were gone; they came crawling to his feet.
Others, like our girl, received no locket at all.
But the choice of all was the same– live in emptiness or grace.
Love the Locket-Maker for who he was- or turn their hearts away.
And the girl began to see a glimpse of a thought that ran deep and long. She was the Locket-Maker’s treasured possession.
And what He wanted, the thing He desired: was her heart.
So the girl chose to serve willingly, with grace, as a testimony.
For the deepest truth that came pouring in like silver-rain
was that her greatest heart’s desire
was not a locket but
the love of the Locket-Maker.
So many things can be “lockets” in our lives. For me, they are children, the one thing that I desire that rests just outside my grasp. And this Mother’s Day, I am faced again with the question from my King, “Do you love me?”
Not for what He can give but simply because He is.
For you, perhaps your locket is something different. A career, a husband, a house, travels…
But no matter what it is that seems just outside your reach—the King-of-All is saying,
“Do you love me?”