Saturday, March 17, 2012

You're Doubly Mine

Last summer, when I went to Steubenville’s Franciscan University for their Summer Conference, I ordered copies of two of the talks given there, because they impressed me so much. But I guess they didn’t impress me that much, however, because I let the CDs sit on the bookshelf until this week, when I picked them up to listen to as I traveled the miles to the hospital to visit my friend.

The talks were by Steve Ray, a member of my parish and publisher of many books and tapes, and Kimberly Hahn, the convert and theologian Scott Hahn’s wife. Listening to them again, I realized why I thought both talks were so impressive. I decided I’d write here one particular story for your reading, which I had just listened to Kimberly relate. The story is short and simple, but has much application during this Lenten season. Perhaps it will give you something to meditate upon during the quiet time you spend in church --- or, perhaps, motivate you to spend some quiet time in church.

This story is about a young boy and his dreams. He dreamed of vast oceans and seas and the many things to marvel at there, and he decided to build a boat. He took a lot of time to build his boat, finding just the right materials and ensuring it fit together just right. And so when he first placed it in the river which ran near his yard he was thrilled to see how gracefully it floated, and conquered the swirling waters around it. He was so proud. But then one of the swirls caught the boat and moved it beyond his reach. He ran along the shore looking for an opportunity to capture it back, but it only drifted farther away and faster down the stream. And he could not get it back. And he was heartbroken. His father tried to get him to build another boat, but there could be none to replace that one, the one he had so worked on, perfected, and yes loved.

It was quite a while later and the boy had almost given up any hope of ever seeing his boat again when he was walking along the street in town and suddenly, there in a toy store window, was his boat. He rushed into the store and said: “That’s my boat in the window. I made it.” The store owner believed the young boy, but said, sadly, that he had paid someone for the boat and he could not afford to just give it back to the boy. So the boy went home and broke open his piggy bank and took all the money he had saved over years and ran back to the store. He paid the store owner, and bought the toy boat. And then he looked at it and remembered again how much he loved it. And he spoke to the boat: “I made you and I bought you back, so now you’re doubly mine.”

Those are the words that Jesus said.

I liked that story that Kimberly related. She went on further, and spoke of how it always impacted her as a convert, to see the crucifix and Jesus hanging there, a reminder of His sacrifice and how much He loved her. He made her, and He bought her back at a great price.

Sometimes we’re tempted to think our life is worthless, and all the sadness we face makes life unbearable. We wonder how we can go on. If those thoughts sometimes enter your mind, perhaps you’ll remember the story of the boy and his boat, the little thing made of wood that was so precious to him that he wanted to own it doubly. And then you’ll remember the crucifix and how much Jesus wants to own you, and how so very important He thinks you are.

And then, my friend, do not be anxious anymore.


  1. I love that story but I never connected it the way Kimberly did. Having read the story, I'm sure I'll make the connection from here on out. What an inspiration that will be.

    We both have been blessed by Kimberly Hahn during our Lenten Journey.

  2. And a journey it is, this year.

    Yesterday my friend called and asked if it was wrong of her to skip a day visiting her mother in the hospital; she felt so worn out. I reminded her that her being ill would not help her mother at all. Later she called me to tell me of a walk she took in the park, near a pond. A duck was staring at a broken egg in a nest by the pond; someone had destroyed her future. My friend said she stopped and commented to the duck: "I understand", and then sat on a bench near the pond. The duck came over and sat inches from her feet under the bench. "I guess," my friend told me, "that God was indicating to me that He understood also." There is comfort in sharing our sorrows, and considering His.