Saturday, December 25, 2010

This Amazing Gift

a parable

Imagine, if you will, receiving from your parents an unexpected gift. A gift that you, by no means, ever asked for, nor said that you wanted. Yet, your parents gave it to you anyway, and you accepted it with great joy.
You played, with great excitement, with this amazing gift, finding new and more delightful uses for it with each passing day. Perplexed by the magnificent qualities that this gift possessed. Such fragile form for so sturdy a substance, strangely simple and curiously complex. It was all such a wonder to you.
Everyday was a new adventure for you with this remarkable trinket. All the world lay open to you, the wild imaginings of one so enthralled by such a beautiful bauble. You awoke each day with a radiant smile, bright enough to eclipse the rising sun. When you slept, you dreamt of glorious escapades with your treasure, your prize. The key to all the wonders that the universe held was in your possession, even in your right hand.
As time went by, eventually, you began to lose interest in your present. The luster having faded, the glow it once held now a mere reflection of what light it was held in. Finding less surprise in it, only savoring the memories of when it was new. Seeing less shine to it than any of those memories could recall. Becoming discontent with it almost to the point of disgust. Looking at it now serving only to remind you that it was no longer the object of great joy that it once was. So you placed it on a shelf where it silently stayed, collecting dust. Seldom looking at it for the fear of the pain that may come to mind of strange innocence lost.
Then one day, as if by chance, you glance at it. A glimmer.
"What was that I just saw?".
So, turning to face it, for the first time in a great while, you discover something that might be of use. You realize that your gift has been broken. Strange that you never noticed it before. How long has it been this way? Could it be that this was why you lost that thrill of playing with your gift? Oh, let it be so.
So you take your present from the shelf and carefully dust it off, hoping to find some clue as to what happened to it. You set yourself to repair this once cherished and prized possession. But all of your clumsy fumbling and your impatience only frustrates you further. The pain returns.
Then, out of the clear blue sky, it occurs to you.
"Perhaps I can find someone who can repair it. Maybe the One who made it."
A spark of hopeful enthusiasm flashes across your heart. Hope springs... if only for a moment.
So you take your gift to the Shopkeeper where your parents found it and you walk into the shop, apprehensive at the thought that the Man behind the counter may not be able to fix it. Your fears are quieted by the display of wondrous gifts that the Shopkeeper has on His shelves.
“Maybe, just maybe, He will be able to fix it.”
You stand watching Him tinker with some item behind His counter, barely noticing you, yet completely aware of your every move.
You approach Him with caution, as if He were a beast of some renown, a legendary monster whose only lot in life was the destruction of those who came to annoy Him. You try to muster some semblance of strength by which to speak, your mouth so suddenly dry and sour. You shamble a half pace closer to His workbench, each step requiring every ounce of your concentration.
He stands abruptly. The sudden shock of this seemingly old Man and the quickness with which He moves, shakes you to your soul. You want to hide from Him, but you know that it's too late now.
"Dear, Child! I've been waiting for you!" His exclamation sends a shudder through you as if thunder itself had spoken your name.
"Waiting for me? He doesn't even know me." you think to yourself.
"Come, let me see what you've got there." He says with an outstretched hand.
You dread giving this once precious gift to this Stranger, but you really have no choice. Your hand trembles as you reach out to the Shopkeeper, His eyes gazing deeply into your soul. You begin to pull back, the pain of knowing just how broken your prize is. Then you notice a smile on the Shopkeepers face. A look of confidence that bolsters your weary heart. He knows that you will give it to Him. He is patient enough to wait another moment if needed. One more moment is nothing to Him.
You resign yourself to His expertise. He takes your gift and looks it over. There's no obvious determination to His expression. He turns it this way and that, holding it up to the light to see more than you could ever know of it. He notices your nervous pacing as you wait for His diagnosis.
"I don't remember giving it away like this." He says with a curious grin.
"It's broken. I don't know how it happened. Can you fix it?" Your voice a quivering whisper.
"Of course, I can fix it." He says. "When I've finished it will be like new... even better." there was no hint of boastful pride in His remark, just a simple statement of fact.
As He sets to working on your gift, He starts to ask you questions about it. The two of you converse, as if you were old friends getting reacquainted. In an odd way, you feel safe discussing it with Him, the glory days of your time with this amazing gift. He begins to show you the various dents and dings that you've managed to inflict on your prize, not to make accusations, only to inform you. Taking time to tell you how to avoid such problems in the future.
When He finally finishes with your gift, He polishes it up and hands it back to you. Startled by the restored shine and wonder, you ponder whether He didn't switch your beaten trinket with one of the others in the shop. It was beautiful once again.
"How much do I owe you?", you ask, afraid that it will cost you more than you have, or could afford.
He shakes His head and smiles at you. "Oh, There’s no charge for this. It‘s already been taken care of."
The weight of what He has just said stuns you.
"You can see my Son about the warranty." He says, pointing to an office on His right side. An office you hadn't noticed to this point.
You walk with a spring in your step that you haven't had in a long time. You approach the door only to be greeted by a younger version of the older Man behind the counter.
"All of the work is in order." He declares boldly. "I've taken care of everything."
"There are things about your gift that you've never discovered. We can show you how to use them all. So, come by, or call on Us occasionally for tips and pointers." He pauses for a brief moment before going on. "...And, about those things My Father showed you, try to avoid doing them again. They're still covered, and you can always bring it back if something happens, or even if something doesn't. But for all the love We put into these presents, it hurts Us when people don't take care of them, or use them properly."
You extend your hand to the younger Man, noticing a peculiar scar on His wrist as He shakes it.
"Curious.", you think to yourself. As you turn to leave, you look back over your shoulder.
"Be sure to tell all of your friends about Us. They may have some gift that needs repaired as well." They said together.
"That, I most certainly will do."

Michael +

May you all enjoy God's blessings on this Holiday. Merry Christmas.

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13 Comments:

Blogger Kender said...

Great. Simply wonderful. Did you write this? I love it.

1:42 AM  
Blogger Kender said...

And Merry Christmas to You and Yours Good Sir!

1:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't read this yet, on my way to bed, but will read soon. Just wanted to say:

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

-Faith

1:50 AM  
Blogger Jeff Nash said...

M+,

Very wonderful parable. When I started reading it, I was honestly afraid that it would turn into a "cheesy Christian story," as so many things do, but it did not go there: it went to brillance in telling a story and communicating an emotion of feelings both on the side of the Shopkeeper and the owner of the gift. I loved the line, "There are things about your gift that you've never discovered." Very true indeed.

Merry Christmas!

9:53 PM  
Blogger JustTerry said...

Everytime I read this I love it. More people need to read this.

5:21 PM  
Blogger Jackie AKA JACKO said...

WOW it's great and powerful. U never know who God might reach through this.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Kender said...

And a very Merry Christmas to youand yours M+, in 2005.

Let's see how many years this can be redone....a timeless tale deserves retelling....

2:00 PM  
Blogger curious servant said...

"Curious..."

Thank you for this wonderful piece.

Merry Christmas!

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everytime I read this I find it an excellent reminder. Thank you for posting it. -X

12:12 PM  
Blogger One Wink at a Time said...

Really, really nice :-) Thanks.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Paula said...

OMG...

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Faith said...

Michael...just got on the computer and stopped by and saw you finally updated! It's been a while since I've gotten on for long periods myself. I'll have to read this post but I wanted to say I'm so glad you updated! And I wanted to let you know that I have a baby now!! Russ and I finally got pregnant last year, and had our baby boy on November 11, 2010!! Once I get in the groove of things, I might start a blog back up. Anyways, this is the only way I could update you!! I will ttyl!!

-Faith

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Faith said...

oh wow, don't even know my sons birthday! It's November 17...sorry :)

11:14 AM  

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