November 16, 2021
The sixth grader tightened the grip on her purse as I approached. The purse was made of pink overlapping sequins. At its top, a unicorn’s horn emerged. A strap secured it around her neck. Amongst this group of older white men, it provided additional security. I could only imagine what memories it contained.
I met Symphony at the Western Ohio Unit annual meeting. She was there with her older brother and dad. Both had the same name: Chris. Her family was the first participant in the Montgomery County program called Pathways to Home Ownership.
I attempted to chit-chat. But due to her shyness, I made little headway. However, I did learn that she doesn’t like school, and that, on occasion, fights with her brother. I guess that could be considered a communication breakthrough.
Her dad spoke at the meeting and told their story. A story that began with the 2019 Memorial Day Dayton tornadoes and loss of their material possessions. He described how his family walked a difficult path through recovery. This home would be restorative. A restoration that would be life-changing.
Later, I learned that Symphony had left her purse at the church. With typical MDS effectiveness, the purse was located. Using a type of handoff rarely seen outside of the 4×100 relay, she was reunited with the unicorn purse having pink sequins. Disaster averted!
It is easy for me to minimize the trivial. But the trivial for some, is the only thread connecting them to the before time. The time before a disaster.
Matthew 10: 29-31 says, “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.”
This verse is a reminder that the owner of this pink sequined purse is important to God. And if important to God, should be even more important to me.
MDS and Disaster Aid Ohio strengthen these threads of hope, even if it sometimes leads to a unicorn.
Maurice Stutzman, MD, is MDS Region 2 Secretary/Treasurer.