Wednesday, December 12, 2012
There was a little package on the porch floor……from Ten Thousand Villages. Do you know that place? It’s a fair trade company that sells hand made items from artisans in developing countries. I visited a retail store in PA four years ago, but they have them all over the country. I love that place! It has such interesting stuff!
Now who could be sending me an early Christmas present from one of my favorite stores? Hmmmmmm…..the mystery was part of the present. I didn’t open the package right away. I wanted to savor the not-knowing. I let at least 30 seconds pass before I slit it open. There was a little box enclosed and of course the invoice which revealed the name of the sender.
I lifted the flaps of the box and found bright red tissue paper resting on my surprise like cardinal wings on a sacred nest. I waited….. waited …. I found my phone and took a picture. I imagined, I envisioned, I thought about how this was the last few moments in history I would not know what eggs lay under those feathers. I would never have this experience again…about this one gift……this one suspenseful, beautifully agonizing point of time (btw, I have time for thinking like this. You don’t…if you’re married, have children, or work for a living, but you should think like this anyway).
I stared at it a while longer til I couldn’t stand it, then slowly lifted the paper. First one wing, pause….. then the other. A gift….delicate….non-pretentious….personal. Nothing could have been more perfect at that moment.
Christmas is making me introspective and more emotional than usual. And so is the waiting on news about my mother-in-law in Iowa. Any day now, the doctor says. Her box has been opened and her trembling fingers have grasped the red paper. I know that even in her sorrow, she’s feeling anticipation and maybe even exhilaration to be leaving behind the mundane and familiar, and setting out for glory; peeling back the last few layers, seeing the blessed hope take shape through the haze. Wow! Every other experience in life must pale in comparison (except maybe childbirth which is the mirror image).
We grieve our loss as she takes hold of the prize. She knows the Giver and she is about to realize the Gift.