Today, I was given two beautiful and thoughtful gifts from two beautiful, thoughtful and very special folks. And both were complete surprises.
Why is this special to me? Many, many reasons.
1. My friend is FANTABULOUS. She knows me – and knows that this gift was “me”!
2. She did it just because. She gave it to me b/c she loves me. And that made it worth MORE than its weight in gold.
3. Every time I look at that pineapple, I will think of my friend.
I can’t explain how beautiful and how precious of a gift this is to me and my family. Why? For many of the same reasons above:
1. My friend shared this gift out of love. That is enough reason right there!
2. My friend is precious. And every time I look at that manger scene I will think of my friend AND my brothers and sisters in Maua, Kenya.
3.I was ecstatic about using this manger scene as a replacement for a larger manger scene we have used in the past and that is in storage in the attic right now.
Ready for the kicker?
We don’t have a manger scene in the attic.
We do NOT have a manger scene that we’ve been using.
We have been using a Christmas village thingee… but not a manger scene.
Today, I told several people today about reason number 3. But much to my chagrin, some of those folks (my family) set me straight.
Let that sink in for a moment — yeah. Go back and read reason #3.
NO MANGER SCENE.
And that brings me to some bigger thoughts in this whole thing…
How many times have I looked at something, or someone — and not really “seen”?
How many times have I believed something that I “thought” was the truth — but wasn’t?
How many times do I choose to see through my own eyes — instead of the eyes of love?
God sees me. He knows me. He loves me anyway. He views me through the eyes of Love and gave the greatest gift of all, His Son. I had done nothing to deserve it.
The truth is that I am not always paying attention to those around me. I don’t see their need. I don’t see the depth of their pain. I don’t see the opportunities to love others that God has placed before me.
What if it is something as simple as giving an encouraging word? A hug? A gentle answer instead of a biting one?
My friends gave me gifts that I had done nothing to deserve. They gave out of love. They encouraged me and blessed us all in more ways than I can express.
The physical gifts were an outpouring of their love, generosity and sweetness… which to me, is an outpouring from God through them. And when I see the gifts they gave me, I remember that love and sweetness.
And when others see me, I want them to know — and remember — the love that God has for them, too.
Lord – open my eyes to see the beauty around me… especially when I am not really paying attention. And thank you for beautiful friends who help open my eyes to the truth of your love around me. Make me an instrument of your peace, love and joy. AMEN.
Please watch this all the way through — you’ll be glad you did.