By Linda Porter Carlyle
MacKenzie Isabelle Evans stretched happily and smiled. She snuggled back under her covers and looked at the pretty patterns the sunlight made on her bedroom wall as it shone through the lace curtains at the window. She loved springtime! She wondered if she should lie in bed for a while longer just because she didn’t have to go to school, or whether she should get up right away because there were so many interesting things she could do today.
Mom opened the bedroom door. “It’s Thursday and you don’t have school today,” she said with a smile.
Mac pushed the covers back and jumped out of bed. “I’ll get dressed right away!” she exclaimed.
“Do you want to eat breakfast before we leave, or do you want to have a breakfast burrito at the Grower’s Market?” Mom asked as Mac danced into the kitchen.
“You already know!” Mac said. She flung open the back door and took a flying leap off the porch.
“I love the Grower’s Market!” Mac said as she and Mom drove down the highway.
“Me too,” Mom agreed. “And I’ll probably have to go pretty often this summer because we didn’t plant much of a garden this year.”
The Grower’s Market was a busy place when Mac and Mom arrived, even though it was still early. Mom headed for one of the tables stacked with different kinds of bright-green lettuces and piles of rosy-red radishes. “I don’t like the way radishes taste,” Mac said, wrinkling up her nose. “They’re too spicy. But I think they’re pretty. Can I go visit the Rock Lady while you get lettuce?” she asked.
“Sure,” Mom agreed. “I’ll keep my eye on you.”
Mac skipped to the Rock Lady’s display table.
“You look like a ray of sunshine today!” The Rock Lady smiled when she saw Mac in her yellow cropped pants and yellow T-shirt.
Mac twirled around. “I think so too!” she said. “Do you have any new rocks today?”
The Rock Lady picked something up and handed it to Mac. “This is my new turtle,” she said.
Mac laughed. The rock was rounded, just like a turtle’s shell. And the top had been painted to look just like one. “I like it!” she said. “I like it a lot!” Mac studied the other painted rocks on the table. Some had pictures of kittens on them or dogs or birds. Some had delicate bouquets of flowers. And some had printed words.
Mac picked up one rock that said, “Plan ahead,” across the top. She turned the rock over and found the “d” on the back. “That’s what happens to me all the time!” she exclaimed. “I always run out of room when I try to make a poster or a picture!
“I wish I could buy the turtle,” Mac said, patting her pockets. “But I don’t have any money. It’s so hard to save money!”
“Believe me, I understand the problem,” the Rock Lady said sympathetically. “Would you like me to paint a daffodil on your arm to match your outfit? No charge!”
“Sure!” Mac exclaimed.
The Rock Lady reached for one of her washable markers and began to draw.
“Wow! How pretty!” Mom said as she joined Mac.
Mac giggled. “I just thought of something funny! You put most flowers in water to make them last longer when you pick them. But when I put this flower in water, it will disappear.”
“You’re such a smart girl!” the Rock Lady said with a smile. She tapped the end of Mac’s nose with a marker.
When Mom finished her shopping, she and Mac lined up to get their breakfast burritos. They found a couple of empty chairs under the awning where they would sit in the shade, eat, and watch the other shoppers stroll by with their baskets and bags.
Mac took a bite of her burrito. She held out her arm and admired it. “Don’t you just love my daffodil?” she asked with her mouth full. She swallowed. “It was really nice of the Rock Lady to paint it for me for free.”
Mom nodded. “It was very nice of her,” she agreed. “It would be very nice of you to write her a little Thank-you note.”
Mac took another bite. She shook her head. “I’ve got a better idea. It’s a great idea! It just came to me. When we get home, I’m going to find a kind of flat rock, and I’m going to write my memory verse on it with your permanent marker pen—the one with the fine point, you know. And I’m going to give it to the Rock Lady next time we come to the Grower’s Market. My memory verse is, ‘For He is the living God and He endures forever.’ Don’t you think that would be just perfect to write on a rock? Because a rock just about endures forever, and I know the Rock Lady likes rocks! I don’t know if she’s a Christian. If she is, she’ll really like my rock! And if she isn’t, maybe she’ll want to know some more about God. Don’t you think that’s a perfect idea?”
Mom smiled. “I think that’s just about a perfect idea,” she agreed.
QUESTIONS: Have you ever painted a picture on a rock? What was on it? What fruits and vegetables would you pick out to eat if you could go with Mac to the Grower’s Market? Do you think the Rock Lady will learn something about God’s love and power if Mac gives her a “memory verse” rock? Who could you give a “memory verse” rock to? Why not do it today?—Mrs. Sox