Have you ever been given an unexpected gift?
In my twenties and thirties, I often privately questioned gifts people gave me. Why would someone give me a gift of ___________? What was their motive? I’m not sure when I became a cynic.
Perhaps it came from one part thinking, “I can’t understand why someone would want to give me something,” and two parts having experienced unspoken expectations tied alongside the ribbon that wrapped the gift.
And then God gifted me with children. Both of our boys are amazing kids. They give from their hearts. Freely. Selflessly.
One of the boys shares things he likes with me. He received a Lego set—a Star Wars star fighter, I think. He’d pined after this set for . . . well, it seemed like forever. After he played with it awhile, it slipped under the Lego table in the playroom. Then he checked out a book from the school library about how to make robots with Legos.
Eager, he raced downstairs with the book to see what he could create with what he had. I smiled at his gleeful exclamations as he created robots. Then he came upstairs as I was making lunch. And he held something in his hand. “Mom, this is for you.”
Standing on his palm was a robot dog. Small, but priceless in this mom’s eyes.
“Some of the pieces came from my Star Fighter set.”
“Oh honey. You don’t have to give this to me. I know how much you like that set.”
He pressed his hand forward. “No, I made this for you.”
He never wants those pieces back, because it would be a rejection of his gift. He pours his love into the gifts he offers.
When we went “almost camping,” my nephew and his father cracked open a geod. My guys watched, excited to see what was within.
Later, the boys came to our cabin with pieces of crystalline geod in their pockets. Sunlight glinted off them as they showed me. One boy especially thought is was cool.
After we unpacked at home, he opened the palm of his hand. “Mom, this is for you. I want you to have it.”
I love that he can take what he sees as beautiful and share it. This is love, isn’t it?
God took the beauty of his Son and wrapped Him in human flesh. Jesus gave each of us the gift of eternal life. And it floors me still. I’m so, SO undeserving of that gift.
He offers us His grace, His unconditional love wrapped up in little arms, in glimpses of beauty, in protection.
How well do I accept it?
Not that well sometimes. I insist on my own way. I don’t embrace His grace or let Him give to me by helping me through a situation. I don’t always take to heart the gift of a friend’s encouraging words.
A gift disdained is no less a gift.
I’m learning to open my eyes to see the gifts God places in my days. And to receive them without wondering why a gift would be given to me, of all people.
What about you? How good are you at receiving gifts from others? Have you ever been given a gift that was hard to receive?