Right before coming back to school, I saw
one of my campers for the first time since leaving camp two months before. He ran up to me and proudly proclaimed that he was still wearing the friendship bracelet I’d made him. I smiled and showed him that his was still firmly fastened to my wrist as well.
I sit here and admire the slew of bracelets on my arm and picture a face and a friendship that accompanies each. At camp, I made a deal with my fifth- and sixth-graders. If they made me a bracelet, I would make them one as well. It’s a system I’ve grown to love even though it results in some very interesting bracelets.
During free time, I would sit down at a table and pull out my box of string. My duty as the string-bringer involves teaching everyone how to make the various bracelets, untangling the knotted strings, correcting mistakes and basically being at the beck and call of however many children decided they wanted to make bracelets that day.
While making their bracelets, many kids got discouraged because they made mistakes, the worst of which were brought to me with hopeful eyes and tight knots. However, I made sure to assure them that mistakes are okay. I told them their mistakes give their bracelets character.
However, I did have one little girl come and tell me, “I’m gonna make you a bracelet so you have to make me a bracelet. Except mine’s not gonna look good, but the one you make me is gonna look really good.”
True to her word, she made me a bracelet like none I’ve ever had before. It was six different colored strings all braided together and about two sizes too large. I smile now as I look down at my bracelet-turned-anklet and think how similar my friendship bracelet for God must look.
I imagine God has a similar philosophy as I do when it comes to bracelet-making: you make one for me, and I’ll make one for you. It doesn’t matter what the bracelet looks like. I’m sure he quietly shakes his head when we bring our convoluted mess of life to him to untangle. He smiles proudly as he sees us get the pattern down and he sighs when we approach him with hopeful eyes and tight knots.
Like my little camper who knew a good deal when she heard one, God takes our mistake-ridden, odd-looking bracelets and trades them for eternal life-giving ones. As we go around and excitedly show everyone we know the masterpiece God has crafted for us, he proudly wears our strings, whether they have to be wrapped twice around his ankle or tied around his finger.
I know he inspects each one for mistakes, but not so he can disapprove of their imperfection, but so he can marvel at their individuality. I know that as he admires each and every bracelet made for him. He pictures our faces and the memories he has with us.
So if you are sitting there hiding your bracelet from God because you don’t think it’s worthy of the creator, know that there couldn’t be a more perfect gift. He will love and cherish it not because of the way it looks, but because one of his favorite children made it. Know that he desires your friendship no matter the colors, mistakes or tangles.