“This is God’s command: to believe in his personally named Son, Jesus Christ. He told us to love each other, in line with the original command. As we keep his commands, we live deeply and surely in him, and he lives in us. And this is how we experience his deep and abiding presence in us: by the Spirit he gave us.” (1 John 3:23-24 , The Message)
A memory I cherish from childhood pictures me seated beside my Grandma’s chair watching her nimble and sensitive fingers crochet amazing doilies and afghans … amazing because she was totally blind. Over the years she gifted her work to friends and loved ones. When my older sisters celebrated their sixteenth birthdays a beautiful granny square afghan created by her hands in that chair was lovingly gifted to each of them. I waited expectantly and impatiently for mine. But … Grandma Ruhl died and my anticipation and hope for her gift of love was gone. But … knowing her health was declining rapidly, she planned ahead for me. On my sixteenth birthday, at just the right time, her gift of love was delivered into my hands. She knew it would flood me with joy! Even now as I touch that treasure I am blessed and it humbles me because it is just a tiny story tucked inside my life’s ongoing story, the one He has wrapped all together for me … a gift within the Gift.
As I grew through that childhood, I also watched people who talked about God like they knew Him. They acted like they wanted God and He wanted them. As I figuratively “sat by their chairs,” I watched, and listened and asked questions. I came to believe that God wanted me too, not just to have what others had, but to have God for myself. It became an expectation that longed for fulfillment. All along, in every small experience, His plan for me unfolded providing what I needed – drawing me closer and closer to Himself. At the right time, His time, I just had to reach out and touch the Gift, unwrap it and receive Him.
To truly comprehend and value the gift of Grace is impossible. I tried to catch a glimpse of it when I wrote:
Gift Wrapped Wrapping Himself in humanity, and arriving through a mist of pain, a tear of flesh, a stain of blood. INCARNATE GOD. Departing through a mist of pain, a tear of flesh, a stain of blood. Patient, He waits to see if I will touch and understand His offered Gift, And as I do, God wraps Himself in me.
Char Forslund (©1986)
Merry Christmas! May you know the absolute treasure of unwrapping His Gift – Himself – today!
Love and Joy! Char
Char can be reached via email here.