Saturday, July 3, 2010

Out of the Box?

During my years of traveling as a singer, I started a collection of coffee cups. They reminded me of people I’d met and places I’d seen.

After marrying and settling down, my parents—avid travelers themselves—kept the collection going for me.

A cup here, a cup there, and before I knew it, I had more cups than I had cabinets. Something had to be done.

Not wishing to part with any of them, I found a sturdy box and started a weeding process of sorts.

My favorite cups—the ones I enjoyed drinking coffee from—would stay. The other cups—the prettier, more fragile ones—would go in the box and be stored in the garage until further notice. I didn't want to risk getting them chipped.

And so it was.

I ran across the box a few days ago. It had been years (and a few tears) since I’d seen the cups, and I wanted to see them again.

There was the one I purchased in the early ‘80s from Macy's in New York City. The one from Kentucky with special memories attached. Ones from Colorado, California, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Washington. So many beautiful cups, just like I left them years ago.

I was sad they weren’t being used, but they weren’t. Carefully, I restacked them inside the box and closed the lid. After returning them to the shelf, I walked away wondering what kind of vessel I am in the Kingdom of God.

Am I just a pretty vessel, stored in a box in God’s garage somewhere, too fragile to be of use? Or am I a willing vessel—his favorite cup, you might say—the one he reaches for every morning, knowing that I'm ready and able to do whatever he asks of me, no matter the risks involved?

Sobering questions, for sure. In the box? Out of the box? The answer is up to me.

“Then said I, Here am I; send me.” Isaiah 8:8

♦ Linking to Spirtitual Sundays, where faith lifts are free. ♦


  1. I loved this, sis. And I'm guilty of now bringing you more coffee cups from far and wide, but it's hard to resist. :) One day you must post the story of the cup that came special delivery when you were wroking at American Airlines. Love that story.

  2. What a wonderful post! I pray I am the cup HE chooses knowing I will accomplish ALL His plans! Thank you for sharing this ....

    Have a blessed 4th!

  3. I love this, Gayle. For too many years of my life, I was the cup packed away, but I so desire to be the cup He chooses.


  4. what a great post...I ache for HIm to 'send me.' I want out of the box... Happy 4th of july

  5. Gayle, this speaks to me so much today! The theme for the youth camp where my daughter works, and we will be going with our church for a week in July, is SENT, and my son and daughter already feel SENT. My son is on a mission trip right now, but is on one every day. Thank you again for this!

  6. WOW! This is gives me much to think about.I have
    my favorite cup I reach for daily. I want to be out of the box! Thank-you for this great post today. Happy 4th of July to you.

  7. Well, another WOW moment for me. I just finished reading your sister's "Jerry" story, and now this.

    I, too, want to be the favorite cup. And combined with her post, my thoughts have meandered this morning to some wonderful old "cup people" which have been boxed up and put away. I think that they want to be favorite cups used daily too.

    I'm very convicted by this. The Dayle and Gayle team was used in a mighty way by God this morning. I intend to put my heart to action immediately. Thinking...thinking...

  8. What a great illustration. We have a large collection of mugs. When the collection got too big for the cabinets we took a lot of them to the garage and a few of them were sent away for good. I will think of them in a different "light" now.
    Thank you for sharing.