We never expected them...
As my husband stepped out the front door late yesterday afternoon, I heard him suddenly let out an exclamation! "There's a box out here!" While we have had some Christmas packages arrive in the mail over the past few days, all of them had been accounted for. What on earth... ?
My husband carried the box up into the room. It was from a retired professor at the college where my husband works. My husband lifted the lid and it was a gift box of some lovely pears.
"We didn't get him a gift..." I whispered softly. My husband looked at me. "No, we didn't." After a pause he said, "He's Jewish."
As my husband got online to thank our friend for the gift, I thought about the man who had sent us the Christmas pears. While I had met him from time to time over the years when I was at events on campus and we'd chat, I really did not know him that well.
Interestingly enough, as I battled cancer, this man would faithfully visit my carepage and send messages of encouragement. When my husband turned 50 and suggested to friends that they donate to a favorite charity in lieu of gifts, he donated $150.00 to his favorite charity in my husband's name.
Often times, we give either because we want something in return or we give out of obligation. Neither way is true giving for true giving comes from the heart. In the book of Acts it is recorded that Jesus Himself had said and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35b We may give but we often do not give from the heart.
As I look at the box of ripening Christmas pears, I am reminded of another gift which was given to us all. It appeared to be a very simple gift, this child laying in a manger, but in reality, it is the most precious gift of all. It is God's wonderful gift of love... given unconditionally.