Mango Moments

If you were to journey down the street or into the subway station with me in downtown Brooklyn, you might notice men collecting bottles and cans to redeem for nickels at the recycling center. Or you might see the ladies selling mangos, hour upon hour. These women purchase mangos in bulk, stand at a makeshift cart, peel and put mangos into sandwich bags to sell to people passing by. It is hard to imagine that either of these are very profitable ventures, but it is honest work that brings in money, allowing them to help provide for their families. These men and women appear to be content and joyful as they go about their work.

From our little apartment, we enjoy strolling through town toward the East River to watch the sunset. As we go, we often see people from all walks of life with their children experiencing some of the simple pleasures of life. Jim and I have begun to call these snapshots of life, “Mango Moments.” We imagine the women selling mangos may be doing the same thing we are – taking a break from the routine of life to enjoy the small, simple pleasures. For us it is a walk toward the river. These are moments that each person is able to capture and enjoy, if they choose to do so. It is simple and yet quite profound. In the common happenings and everyday occurrences we can experience mango moments.

We all have the opportunity to embrace special times and to capture them in our memories. I often find that I keep moving forward and fail to rejoice and see beauty in the ordinary. Over the decades of trusting Christ, I have realized that joy and contentment are choices as we mature in our walk with God. I can easily turn to discontentment instead of peaceful trusting in the Lord. The Apostle Paul articulated this in Philippians 4:11, “…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Like Paul, I want to continue to learn to be content and to experience joy in life.

As I go about the ordinary things, I want to find mango moments. Recently on a trip to Colorado, Jim was singing to our grandson. My heart was warmed hearing my husband’s deep voice tenderly singing to Jaxson. Little Jaxson put his head on Jim’s chest and smiled as he began to listen and be still. I cried tears of joy and whispered, through tears, a prayer of thanksgiving for a few mango moments of a brief time together. During that same visit, Wesley needed a diaper change and I readily volunteered for duty (it’s much more fun to change dirty diapers as a grandparent!). Lying on the changing table our five-month-old little grandson smiled and began to coo. I took in that mango moment and am smiling remembering it.

These special moments don’t have to be reserved for present circumstances. We can reach back into our memories to retrieve them as well. When our boys were little, finances were very tight and campus ministry was bustling, we would load our family in the minivan and head 15 minutes up the road to the only McDonald’s Playland in the area. For less than 10 dollars (loved that $1 menu!) we could feed everyone (not exactly health food). Afterward, the boys would climb and play for an hour or two. Jim and I had time to talk and would laugh as we enjoyed watching them use their pent up energy in productive play. I have fond memories of those times of enjoying the simple pleasures of life. I had to hold onto those in the midst of challenging moments when the boys would fight, the phone would interrupt a conversation or the schedule would change -again- and I was unprepared.

May I encourage you to take time to find joy and peace in the mango moments?

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