My pal Michelle says that shopping is her “spiritual gift.” Sometimes, when she doesn’t want to sound all holier-than-thou, she just says she was born with “the shopping gene.” Either way–anointed or genetic–she’s got it.
And I don’t.
And nothing shines the spotlight on my deficiency quite like Christmas. Every year, I try to get my kids one practical gift, something that they can all use, something that will enrich their lives. For years, I went with what I considered to be faith-building presents like The One-Year Chronological Bible (I think the best effort only made it through February) and the Navigator’s Topical Memory System (all I can say is that my kids don’t know quality when they see it), and then–because uprightness is not just a spiritual condition–the most inspired gift of all: The Posture Brace.
The ad promised that the brace was “virtually invisible” and could be “comfortably” worn under clothes.
The ad was wrong.
Another Christmas fail.
(And Kids, please forgive me for posting this pic. You know I had to do it.)
How much better off would I be–and how much more grateful my family–if I would just stick with my grandmother’s gift-giving strategy? She never gave us anything, at least nothing you could wrap. Instead, she asked us to memorize a Bible verse for her each year and, in return, she promised to pray for us.
I will admit that, as a teenager, I was less-than-enthused by Gammy’s scheme. I don’t know how I ever memorized any verses, given that my eyes were rolled so far back into my head. Today, though, many of these nuggets are still locked in, and in terms of things like wisdom and peace and joy I can promise you this: Her Bible verses have been a far better (and infinitely more comfortable) support system than even the most “stylish” posture brace!
And, while I will never know the full impact of her prayers, I am confident that Gammy’s gift to her grandchildren opened the door to all measure of divine protection, favor, insight, and blessing in our lives. As a parent, I can’t think of anything I’d rather give my children.
I’m going to write more about the gift of prayer in my next post–and I’ll show you an idea that my kids actually did (and still do) like–but for now, would you just say a prayer for me? I haven’t yet picked this year’s group gift, and I’d be much obliged if God (who, according to Matthew 6:11, actually knows how to give “good gifts”) would weigh in with some ideas.