What do you do with a good gift?
Lost Opened Gifts
Open, ooo! and awww!
No matter what the gift was,
Grammy saved them up.
On shelves high they stayed.
Pristine, new, all gifts of love.
Admired only once?
I never saw them.
She aged, grew old, and fell ill.
The gifts? Up in flames.
What were they saved for?
My father never told her.
The gifts were all gone.
It seemed such a waste.
Surely she knew her reasons.
Was love stored there?
A House of The Lord
Lessons from a pair of Christmas shoes....
The young newlyweds were making meager funds meet their essential needs.
There would be no presents for Christmas. They had agreed.
Yet the young husband had scrimped and saved. He put a little more money aside each time he noticed his sweetheart's tattered shoes.
When Christmas Day came she found he had broken their agreement, for he presented her with a sturdy pair of brown, working shoes to protect her feet, while expressing his love by his act of protection.
She, on the other hand, consoled herself that she had purchased no gift for him due to their agreement. And, besides, the shoes seemed ugly to her, and definitely not a pair she would have purchased for herself with their precious funds.
She kept the sales slip, and the first thing the next morning she returned the shoes for a pair that were more to her liking, if perhaps somewhat less sturdy and durable.
The replacement of his gift was not as serious as its seeming rejection, for it represented his love and serious intent to serve her very real need going forward.
Weeks later, and weeks wiser, she regretted her impulse and the evident rejection of his taste in shoes. She realized too late that she had received more than just a gift of shoes that Christmas Day, a day wrongly clouded with her former thoughts.
A happy marriage with children and that same faithful, devoted husband later, this one time newlywed had become the head of the oldest women's organization in the world, and for what must have been only one of many such times, she again publicly repented of her failure to understand the true significance of that pair of sturdy, brown shoes.
Since that first Christmas Day of their marriage, she had come to understand that there is often much more to a gift than just its value to others, and that that particular gift also had much more value and meaning than what the sales receipt had shown.
In the lives of so many the gift of the Sabbath is like such a gift, one to be cherished and honored for both the gift and the giver. Cherished for its true significance, not something to be merely placed on a high shelf to gather dust with other unused presents.
My grandmother seldom dressed up. Her everyday dress was a simple dress and a fresh apron. By the end of her day, that apron and parts of the simple dress were a road map of her service to others that day.
She did dress up to go to church services, even if they were only held in someone else's home. She would also dress up for funerals and weddings.
Dressing up for church services was her way, hat. gloves, and all, to give respect to God on the Sabbath.
Dressing up for funerals and weddings was her way to give respect to the dead and to the new couple just starting out as she had once done..
Her "road map apron" was what I understood as the best mental symbol she left me as to how she lived and embodied her respect for God's other commandments.
We might do worse than to ask ourselves how we live so as to show our own appreciation for the many and wondrous gifts we have been given.
© 2015 Demas W. Jasper All right reserved.
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