that this was the place of my daughters’ birth.
That they would want some things to represent this important place of their birth.
I went around on each trip with eyes wide open
looking and trying to decide what would have meaning.
Although there are a few places in the US where you can purchase
items made in Russia
there are not many.
I remember walking Red Square with vendors coming up to me
trying to sell things.
Big furry hats, toys, dolls and then what caught my eye.
They came in all sizes, shapes and colors.
The Russian matryoshka doll otherwise known as nesting doll
refers to a set of wooden dolls arranging in decreasing size
and placed within each other.
All over I saw them oftentimes with varying themes.
I liked the ones with a Christmas theme but I saw plenty with themes of
Easter, spring, famous politicians, movie stars, etc.
So I bought a matryoshka doll.
I made three trips to Russia. One to adopt my oldest daughter
and two trips to adopt my youngest.
We have three matryoshka dolls. Each very different
but each one so exquisitely beautiful.
I cannot look at those dolls without remembering a people
that showed me kindness and marvelous hospitality each time I traveled there.
there is more to each doll than meets the eye.
At first glance you might not even detect that it opens in half
revealing a small
identically looking doll inside
and so on until you get to the smallest doll.
All too often we glance at another and decide we know them.
But people are far more complicated than that.
Many times it takes a long time to really get to know someone
to see what is not so evident
to understand the heart
and the longings.
Yes, we are all complex
created in the image of God
to know Him
and to make Him known.
“I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalms 139:14
Knowing that helps us to deal gently with our brothers and sister.
To seek to understand before we strive to be understood.
really listen to the heart of another.
Everyone we see is like a walking matryoshka doll
with deep layers
oftentimes onion like layers of emotions and experiences.
Maybe if we hold off on making assumptions
Yes, if we’d take into consideration that there is more
Much, much more within the heart of everyone
We could begin to build bridges of understanding.
Do you think so? Sometimes we only have a short time with another.
Standing in the food store
Passing on the sidewalk
Sitting beside each other at church.
But a short time might be all we need to make a huge difference.