When I left for college at age eighteen, I took with me a thick foam pillow I inherited from my grandmother. This pillow saw me through Ricks College and the BYU Marriott School of Management. After graduation, it accompanied me to Los Angeles and, a couple of years later, into my marriage. When my husband’s work brought our then family of three to Salt Lake City, my pillow came too.
At some point over the several years that followed, my foam pillow started to fall apart. At first I’d occasionally notice a tiny bit of foam in my bed when I woke up in the morning. Before long, though, the pieces got larger, and they were appearing more frequently. Sadly, I started contemplating life without my pillow.
I’d never purchased a pillow, but for some reason my expectation was that such a purchase was outside of what my budget would allow.
One day, while shopping at Target, I decided to look at pillows. To my amazement, I discovered that I could replace my worn-out pillow for less than $10 - and I could obtain an even better pillow for about $20. I couldn’t believe it!
I quickly placed a “new and improved” thick, firm pillow in my shopping cart, and my old pillow ended up in the trash can.
Even as it happened, this experience seemed to me to have the essence of a parable, but at the time I didn’t know what "the parable of the pillow" meant.
Recently, though, have I come to see the experience through the lens of Yes.
Sometimes what we want — or even what we really need — is available to us at little cost.
Sometimes something of worth doesn’t require a lot of money, time, or effort.
Sometimes we just need to put what we've desired into our figurative shopping cart and take it home.