Yesterday I listened to my favorite radio program......Chris Fabry on Moody Radio. He interviewed a friend's Mom, Lenora.
Lenora grew up a sharecropper's daughter in Arkansas during the 1930's. She told of finding and saving the tinfoil in cigarette packs to cover gum balls as tree decorations. Their were eight children, she was the youngest. Like my mother-in-law, the usual Christmas gift was an orange, a banana, a few pieces of hard candy, and some nuts. This lady was not bemoaning those Christmas' she was celebrating, still today.
Then a listener called in to tell about her childhood Christmas. She grew up on a farm in Iowa; town too small to have a traffic light. One year they went into Des Moines and ogled at the store decorations and toy departments. She saw a bride doll that took her breath. She looked at the price tag; that took her breath, too. She knew her parents would never have that amount to spend on a doll so when her Mother asked her if she saw anything she liked she said "No, not really."
On Christmas morning that year there were two bride dolls under the tree. One for her sister and one for her. Her Mom had washed their old dolls and styled their hair and made a bride dress and a whole wardrobe for each doll out of the scraps she had been given by a wealthy lady. Not only that.....Dad had made a wardrobe and hangars for the doll clothes to hang in.
Talk about an Unexpected Gift.
I can't help think....I have never given such a sacrificial gift and I doubt many of us have.
Then today I read the post on Belle Mitchell's blog. Belle is a two year old little girl. Her Dad is the youth minister at my daughter's church. She has brain cancer. She and her mother have been living at the Target house in Memphis while Belle has chemo treatments. They have been there two months now.
The latest scan shows the tumor has not grown......but it has not shrunk. Doctors prescribe at least four more months of chemo there at St. Jude's. Dad will continue being Father and Mother to three boys while Mom and Belle stay in Memphis. Talk about a sacrificial gift.
Material gifts just can't hold a candle to those of sacrifice. God knows that.....He sacrificed His son for us......and we hardly notice.
Lord, help me be more like you, more like the mothers in these stories, more like Mary, more like JESUS. Amen