Monday, December 14, 2009
The Right Gift
This week's column is about when God gave me an idea for a gift for my bedridden mother, but first, I want to tell you about.....
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THE RIGHT GIFT
When I find the perfect gift that really fits an occasion, I do a little Snoopy dance and sometimes squeal. Several times I have found just what the receiver needed. My favorite times to give gifts are on ordinary days. Not birthdays. Not Christmas. Not weddings. Not anniversaries.
I enjoy giving on plain vanilla days—of being aware of someone’s need and filling it. What a joy to show up on their doorstep with gift in hand or better yet, to find a way to give in secret. I’m on a limited budget, so my gifts are usually small purchases, handy things that make life more pleasant.
For over two years my mother has been almost immovable, confined to bed, and before that she was restricted to a wheelchair or bed for several years. Rigidity has set in and she has lost the ability to feed herself along with the ability to comprehend books. Television holds no charm since she has withdrawn into a rather private world where her mind sometimes conjures things that frighten her.
Dad and we children have noticed at least three blessings about her life. First, she recognizes family sporadically. Second, she also remembers sewing. At one time she could have been the poster woman for Singer Sewing Machines. Although she’s lost her original sewing skills, she pleats and folds her snowy bed sheets again. And she fingers the pleats and ribbons on blouses I wear when I sit on her bedside. The third thing she remembers is prayer—when I pray with her, she closes her eyes and reaches for my hand.
As Mom’s connection to the world has lessened, I’ve tried to think of something that would give her some pleasure. One day while visiting, an idea presented itself. Bingo! Yahtzee! Go Fish! Joy filled my heart because God had nudged my dull mind toward a good gift.
I bought a small soft basket and filled it with fabric quarters, bright pieces of cotton in a variety of colors and patterns. Enough with those boring white bed sheets pleated into imaginary garments. To my delight she fiddles with the fabrics. When her basket is placed beside her, she fashions and tucks and drapes them across her hands. I wash, starch and iron her basket supply or add new colors and prints according to the seasons.
Since she can barely move her arms and hands, this gift may not hold her attention long, and her interest in this gift will probably decline soon. But Mother has one gift that is perfect, a Person who will always be with her. “At just the right time, God sent his son, born of woman” that we might become God’s adopted children and receive the gift of his Spirit. And even though we may be crippled in mind or body, the Holy Spirit cries out for us “Abba, Father.”
My comfort is that someone is dearer to Mother than I am. Even when she cannot pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes for her needs. Nothing compares to being adopted by Father God.
The ideal gift is ready to present to our friends. Nothing we can purchase, craft, or dream up equals the gift of adoption into God’s family and the inheritance of the Holy Spirit who communicates with God when we cannot.
To the ones you love be their Apostle Andrew, who on an ordinary day searched out his brother Peter to share found treasure. In essence he said, “I’ve found a wonderful gift for you.”
Are you looking for a gift to fit all seasons—his name is Jesus.