Gift-giving and receiving is on nearly everyone’s mind during this season. Some of the presents passed from hand to hand among family and friends will be small, some big, some sentimental, some practical, but all meant to bring joy to the recipient. It’s not surprising at this time of year to see people give sacrificially to those around them. There’s an element of obligation involved, but it’s generally infused with a sincere desire to please someone and show them you thought of them. Generosity and kindness flow freely at Christmas.
Our family was on the receiving end of that sort of generosity and kindness that is befitting a good Christmas story. But it wasn’t Christmas. It was an average weekday in February, and the kids and I had school just like we do on any average weekday. Their dad was doing what he did on average weekdays, sitting in his office at work. The only difference was that work was hundreds of miles away. We were in the process of trying to sell our house in New York while he worked at a new job down south. He came home every other weekend, and I held down the fort in between. It was a challenging time, and if we had it to do over again we would handle it entirely differently. But we did what we did, and it was difficult on all of us.
But they wouldn’t want me to end with that. They would rightfully want me to remind you just one more time that it’s not them, it’s the Lord.