12/22/19 – The Best Gift Ever

Those who know me well know that I’m not much of a tv watcher. But I always record and watch the Kennedy Center Honors. David and I recently watched this year’s presentation and I commented to David how emotionally powerful it must be for the recipients to sit there while the presenters extoll each recipient’s craft, perform representative works, and generally speak high and personal praise of the recipient. I suggested it was as if the recipients were being eulogized while they are still alive. There is power in words.

Since the time she was little, our daughter has always wanted to know what my favorite ____ was. For example, after a concert, “What was your favorite song?” Or after seeing a movie, “What was your favorite part?” Even after my recent birthday, she inquired “What was your favorite gift?” This was easy. It was an e-mail I received from brother in which he shared his feelings for me. This is new territory in our relationship, and it was very powerful to me. There is power in words.

This last question led Cadee to ask me a broader one, “What’s your favorite gift that you’ve ever gotten from me?” My brain wasn’t fully-engaged when she asked this last question and I struggled as I tried to process the gifts she has given me over her twelve years for my birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day and other odd gift-receiving occasions. “Well,” I said, “I’m not sure I can answer that question right now, but I’m confident it wasn’t something you bought but something you made. Like when you’ve written me stories, or composed songs, or crafted something.” And then I remembered what it was.

The ABCs of My Mom. This is a book Cadee wrote when she was in 4th Grade and gave me for Mother’s Day. In it, she went through the alphabet and, using each letter, came up with positive words to describe me, sentences to explain why, and illustrations on each page. 26 different ways Cadee viewed me. I remember both laughing and weeping when I read it the first time. I was (and continue to be) so incredibly moved by getting to see what I look like through her eyes. It was such a powerful testimony that, no matter how seemingly insignificant or forgettable at the time, what we do and how we treat others, matters. There is power in words.

So, here I sit on Christmas Eve Eve Eve pondering the best gift I’ve ever received, and the theme I’m seeing is that my favorite gifts are gifts of words. Not words to make my ego grow. But words that say I matter. Words that say “I see you.” Words that say I am loved. And there can never be any greater gift than the gift of God’s unfailing love through Jesus Christ. There is no one to whom we matter more, who understands us more, who loves us more. “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14) There is power in The Word.

Grace and peace to you as you journey

Yours in Christ,