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A Priceless Acorn

Yesterday, some little boys and girls were running around the church. I stopped and smiled, taking in the scene of their joy for joy’s sake. Behind me, their parents and other adults were busy setting up for a funeral. I was walking home to prepare what I was going to share about a man I had loved a great deal.

Suddenly, one of the children ran up to me.

“Hey Andrew! Do you want to buy an acorn?”

I squatted down, so that I could look him in the eye. He held out and opened his fist, revealing nature’s gem in his little, pink palm.

“Well, how much does an acorn cost?”

“A dollar.” He spoke very solemnly. Astutely reading the incredulity on my face, he continued, “I’m giving you a good deal because you are a preacher.”

“Thank you for that. Now, let’s say that I buy that acorn from you. What would I do with it?”

His eyes widened. “Oh! That’s the best part! You go home with it and dig it and plant it and dirt it and water it and THEN in two days it grows as big as THAT!” He pointed towards an oak tree that had been growing on our church’s property for at least a hundred years.

A few minutes later, I continued my walk home with the sacred work of my calling still ahead of me. I had one less dollar in my wallet and one heart full of gratitude for hope that springs eternal. And you better believe that I planted that acorn.

About Andrew Taylor-Troutman

I am a pastor and a preacher, a writer, a husband and a father. My professional and personal lives are deeply involved with story-telling: stories that are silly and poignant or profound and commonplace. Stories that are tear-jerkers and belly-shakers. Stories about my son, Sam, and the congregation I serve, New Dublin Presbyterian Church. Each in its own way, these personal narratives shed light on the great story that God is writing with humankind and all of creation.


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