by Kim Schuelke
Nine year old Jennie Miller and her parents finished their annual scarecrow.
“This year,” Mom said, “I’m letting scarecrow wear my mother’s harvest pin.”
Jennie pinned Grandma’s cornucopia pin on Scarecrow’s shoulder. Beautiful shades of amber and gold shone in the afternoon sun.
“This is the best scarecrow yet!” Jennie said
Dad laughed. “You say that every year,” he said.
Jennie ran out to hold Scarecrow’s hand every day, and smiled up at Grandma’s beautiful harvest pin. She hugged Scarecrow’s legs and pranced all around him.
“So you really like the scarecrow, don’t you Jennie?” Dad said at dinner one night.
“Yes,” she said, looking down at her plate.
“Did you visit it today?”
Jennie made a haystack with her corn. “Yes,” she whispered
“The harvest pin is missing, Jennie,” Dad said. He put his fork down. “Was it on when you were outside?”
Jennie sat perfectly still.
Jennie’s chin quivered. A tear started down her cheek.
“I have it,” she said.
“Jennie, that is stealing,” Dad said. “Stealing is against God’s law, and you must never break God’s law.”
“I’m sorry,” she said, “It was just so pretty and-I-just-wanted-it.” A rush of tears started down Jennie’s cheeks.
“Maybe we’ll try again in a few more years,” Mom said softly.
Later on, Mom, Dad and Jennie all walked out to see the scarecrow. This time Jennie didn’t hug Scarecrow. Instead, she stared at the grass.
“Jennie,” Dad said, “Look at the scarecrow.”
Jennie looked up and started crying again. “That scarecrow doesn’t feel a thing up on that stick,” he said, “but Jesus did when he hung on a real cross for your sin.”
Mom knelt in front of Jennie. She gently held Jennie’s face in her hands.
“The most important thing He felt was His great love and forgiveness for you,” she whispered. “You can’t have Grandmother’s pin. It’s very special to me. But I do have something else of hers for you. Every time you look at it, I want you to remember this harvest and God’s great love for you.” She pulled a red heart pin out of her pocket and pinned it on the scarecrow’s shirt.
Jennie looked up. This pin didn't have the pretty autumn colors of the other pin. But somehow, it was much more beautiful.