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TITLE: The Basket Caper
By Anita Howell
05/08/11
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A true story about the love of a father that demonstrates the love of the Father.
There our daughter sat with tears streaming down her face. As my husband apologized, I didn’t know who I felt worse for. Poor thing, he had no idea what he was stepping into when he said, “Hey Em, I kept everything in your old playhouse but the baskets. I took all of the baskets to the dump this morning.” Instantly, we both said, “not the wedding basket?!?”

While a basket may seem like a silly thing to be upset about, it really was something that meant a lot to her. You see, Emily was a flower girl when she was around five. The bride was someone that Emily loves dearly so the basket reminded her of a time when she felt very special.

Even though the basket meant a lot to her, she did quickly forgive him but he felt horrible and couldn’t let it go. The next morning he got up at 6:30 am to get to the dump before it opened. Let me clarify, a Saturday morning at 6:30 am. When he arrived he found the dumpster that he had used but it was so full that he couldn’t see the basket. Surprisingly the men there could all relate and all gave him a sympathetic, “Ow, man! Sorry dude.” Then they began sharing their own “basket” moments – lost jewelry, stuffed animals, and so on.

For safety reasons, they couldn’t allow him in the dumpster to look around. But they rallied around their fellow Dad in crisis and, after a few phone calls, they completely changed the pick-up schedule of the dumptsers. Wes called to tell me he was in “phase two of the basket caper.” He was following the dumpster out to the landfill to see if he could find it when they unloaded. With the bulk bin being packed with heavy items, it didn’t look good for the fragile little basket on the bottom.

Once he got there one worker waived him into a restricted area and another said, “I’m going to slowly lift the dumpster so that it doesn’t get crushed by the large items. Yell if you see it and I’ll stop.” Sure enough, he lifted slowly and a large pile fell forward. There in the bottom sat the basket in perfect condition. The men all celebrated their victory together.

Now that little basket means so much more to Emily than it did before that day. It now reminds her of two times in her life when she felt special. The “basket caper”, I’m sure, is the most special time of all. After all, how many dads would go to that much trouble at 6:30 am on a Saturday morning?

I’ve heard that we erroneously look at God as having the same strengths and weaknesses as our earthly fathers. I think that is probably true and that day Emily not only witnessed how much her Dad loves her but also how much her Heavenly Father loves her. Her Dad gave up a Saturday of sleeping in to chase a dumpster to the landfill and her Heavenly Father protected a little basket in the bottom of the bulk bin.
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