Doug Tales 30: Full Price

All sorts of experiences prompted Doug Mendenhall to reflect on things of the spirit. Soon after his daughter’s near-death experience, he stopped at a store selling woven baskets, and made connections about his and our capacity—and willingness—to learn new things from heaven.

These observations of Doug’s are from Chapter 4, “A Basket Weaver…” on pages 67-68 and 73 of his book, My Peace I Give Unto You (2001):

The store was interestingly lit.

The spotlights were arrayed as though they were fireflies flitting around on a summer’s eve. The scents of too many candles mingled with the potpourri created an almost pleasant assault on your nose. Half of the back wall was dedicated to baskets of every imaginable shape and size. Some were tightly woven as if to hold water, some so loosely you could see through them. Some were large enough to hold a person, while some small enough that a ring would fill them. Some were shallow, while others deep enough to hold a curious cat until rescued. Some came with lids to contain secret treasures while others were woven to display their belongings to anyone who would look in their direction.

“Quite a collection isn’t it.” The store clerk replied to my intent study of the baskets.

“Yes it is . . . you know, I wonder about the weavers,” I candidly spoke my thoughts.

“Our baskets are hand woven by artisans in South East Asia and India. They are personally selected biannually by our cooperate buyers,” she spoke from an unseen script.

“Are they told what to weave and what materials to use or are they free to weave and use what materials they want? How could they know what kind of basket I need?” I wondered out loud.

This time the clerk simply smiled at me and shrugged her shoulders. I had ventured outside her prepared script, she didn’t know what to answer.

I smiled, thanked her for her time and left the store. The baskets were too expensive anyway.

I freed the car keys from my pocket.

An interesting thought tickled my mind as I climbed into my beat up little car.

We are like those distant weavers. From the first day of our life until the last, we weave a basket out of the knowledge we accumulate and the judgements we make. Our basket holds and defines all our experiences. It gives us meaning. Because no baskets are meant for the same purpose, shared experiences fit into some while not others. Some baskets are designed too small or woven too tight for some experiences to fit inside. Others are so loosely woven and open that small, precious things fall through. Each basket holds and defines that which it was designed for.

Only the buyer, Jesus Christ, can say with certainty the purpose of any given basket. All baskets are valuable to Him.

He sees and understands their purpose.

Our baskets now contained the miracle that was Denise. Many who shared the experience with us could not fit it into their baskets. They dismissed it. That did not make what we experienced any less real nor did it make them any less tolerant or discerning. Their baskets were not woven to fit such an experience; their baskets were woven for some other purpose only the Buyer knew.

Only a fool would count as worthless that which the Buyer paid full price for….


Days passed and Denise continued to get stronger. The stroke had left her right side incredibly weak. Her speech was very slow in returning and she became frustrated easily. She was beginning to relearn the basic skills that had been taken away due to the stroke. The semi-paralysis on the right side of her face left her with an adorable little half smile. We thought she was doing great and progressing on schedule. However, the doctors continually reminded us that she was progressing far faster than they could have imagined and continued desperately to search for some way to explain away the miracle of her life and recovery. I started to feel sorry for them until I realized that the Buyer paid full price for their baskets just as He did mine and found them worth the price He had paid. Their baskets were just woven differently, for a purpose that the Buyer knew and understood but that I could not comprehend.