After returning from our church’s Christmas Eve service, my husband, John, and I tried to gather our twenty-eight-year-old son into the parlor so we could open gifts. Carlos continually muttered he needed to find a card he had bought for us before we opened gifts.
Wrapping paper rustled and packing materials tumbled to the floor as the three of us clamored over what we had bought or created. Extreme weather conditions had claimed most of our fruit crops and limited our income that year. John and I had selected only a few, meaningful gifts for each other.
Then Carlos handed us the envelope snatched from his father’s desk. “Remember, Dad, how you always slipped me twenty-dollars and filled up my car with gas every time I came home?” he said.
“Well, sort of.” John glanced at me. The habit had been instinctive. Didn’t most parents tuck a box of cookies into their student’s car along with a little cash?
“One time you handed me a fifty-dollar bill. You guys didn’t know it, but I really needed it then. And with it being such a bad year on the farm, well …”
John opened the envelope, pulled out a fifty-dollar bill, and wiped away tears. I cried and still cry when I remember my son’s gift. Like most parents, we hope our actions reflect our love and heap blessings upon our children.
Tears gather when I ponder the numerous times Jesus has slipped me moments of grace: an unmerited gift that affirmed my talents, a granddaughter that gave her life to Him, or a glorious sunset that welcomed me while walking along Lake Michigan’s shores.
No amount of money stuffed in an envelope can repay the grace Jesus heaps on me, so, instead, I offer Him what He most desires: my heart. Accept the gift Christ offers you, and let it be the best Christmas ever.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile and cohdra.)
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