About three weeks before Christmas, Belinda stepped in the bank door, her hair splayed across her head like hay blowing in the wind. Wild and impulsive in her younger days, drugs, alcohol, and parties had sustained her. Her hand shook as she held the check she wanted cashed. Her lips pursed as she approached. “Hi,” she spoke quietly. “Did you know that Jesus loves you?”
I lifted my eyes to hers and smiled. “Yes, I do. Thanks for reminding me.”
As I counted her money onto the counter, I could see she held a candy dish with white laced patterned ceramic and heart-shaped holes evenly spaced around the lid in the other hand. Lovely red ceramic poinsettia’s crowned the top.
She handed the candy dish to me. “It has some cookies and things inside. I hope you like them,” Belinda stuttered. “I guess the dish isn’t perfect because on the top, one of the poinsettia’s leaves is broken. I hope that’s okay. I kind of like it because it reminds me all of us are slightly broken in some way. But when we offer ourselves to God, He makes us completely perfect in spite of our imperfections.” A smile swept across her face.
Overwhelmed, I shook my head and thanked her. After Christmas, no one else wanted or needed Belinda’s candy dish, so I took it home. There it sits where I can see it and remember.
Joseph and Mary must have felt this way when the wisemen brought them such expensive gifts. Gifts like that are hard to find and more precious than jewels. Imagine my astonishment when I found I’d been given one too.
Lord God, for those expensive precious gifts offered with love by those broken and redeemed but made whole by your grace and given new lives filled with your love, I give You thanks.
(Photo coutesy of morguefile and Kymme.)
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