• Rev. Mark Tews

The Unexpected Gift

There once was a father who punished his three-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper in her attempt to wrap a gift all by herself. Money was tight that Christmas and he had just recently been laid off at work. He was angered because she had used the entire roll of the “good” paper to wrap her small box. Nevertheless, the little girl brought the gift to her father and said through her sniffles and tears, “This is for you Daddy.” He was a little embarrassed by his earlier outburst, but, his anger began to flare again when he opened it and found the box was empty.

His voice raised again, “Don’t you know that when you give a present, there’s supposed to be something inside of it?” Her eyes welled up with big crocodile tears as she looked up at him and said, “But Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into the box – and they are all for you Daddy!”

The father was crushed. He put his arms around his little girl, begged her forgiveness, and told her how sorry he was. What became of that simple box, with the whole roll of gold wrapping paper around it? He kept it by his bed and took out an imaginary kiss each night all the rest of his life.

In a very real sense this is what Christmas is all about. A very special gift comes to us in a small and simple cattle-feeding box, too often these days overly wrapped in all the glitter and glitz of the holiday blitz. We can become so overwhelmed by it all that we become disgruntled and miss the unexpected gift of God’s mercy and grace wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. A gift He gives even when we are less than lovable, so that, we might always know no matter what, that we are loved forever and always.