I saw the FedEx truck arrive. I expected the deliverer to bring some little package with a computer component or a car part for James. Something is always arriving for him.
But, rather, he stepped out of his truck with a larger box. Then he brought another. And a smaller.
Somehow, I knew this wasn’t for James.
I saw the return address
and KNEW whom the gifter must be.
Remember reading HERE about our morning on the lake? I gave sweet Mary Ann a coffee cup … the one with a peek-a-boo surprise inside … that she would drink and think of me?
And I bought two for myself
that I could share a cup of joe with visitors that come for breakfast.
I wanted to buy a whole set of the dinnerware, but felt I couldn’t do it.
And this friend …
who gives deeply, richly, generously
showered me with a blessing I didn’t anticipate
almost too great a gift to believe.
I sliced open the tape holding those flaps tight
and began to unwrap each ceramic beauty.
I called in James to show him the bestowal.
I texted Glory a photo that she might celebrate, as well.
And as I unwrapped,
the packaging began to cover the floor around me.
“this is how many gifts arrive …. wrapped tightly, thickly and safely
Every single plate was placed inside a box,
which was placed inside a plastic bag
which was wrapped with six feet of tissue paper
and six feet of perforated brown paper.
Each was probably made
specifically for the purpose of being a packaging material.
After unwrapping the first plate,
I knew that they would all be
by their journey
by how well they were wrapped.
The gifts that come from afar …
that take time to arrive …
that are carefully chosen, fragile and distinctive …
must be carefully, tenderly, steadfastly packaged
that they may arrive safely …
in one piece …
And along the way, there may very well be a injury to the box.
That kraft brown cardboard cube
may become torn, damaged or punctured
in order for the gift within to arrive … safely.
As I stood amidst that heap
of tissue, boxes, plastic and paper
I thought about the molding of our character
and the experiences in our lives.
Those things that shred and wound …
those injuries that tear, damage and puncture …
those experiences that dismantle, disfigure and crush …
are those just the rough encounters of travel through life?
Or are the “encounters” the “packaging” God uses
to protect and deliver
…. gifts like humility, compassion and patience,
perseverance, courage and responsibility,
maturity, gentleness and tenacity.
We are all born with a bent toward certain character traits …
others have to be gifted, nurtured and developed.I see myself in this analogy
standing among the packaging … of divorce
embracing beautiful gifts that have come through
struggle, grief, disappointment and loss
what do I do with all this “stuff” at my feet?
… the packaging that was used to bring me to
this new place?
While the sweet gift from my dear friend Mary Ann was more than a huge surprise,
I was excited to open the boxes because I had an idea that I knew what to expect.
The packaging of divorce gave me no such expectation,
but the gifts that have been revealed
are as beautiful, lovely and desirable as any ceramic plate or peek-a-boo coffee cup.
And like those place settings,
they were handpicked for me.
May I remember
day in – day out
that the most special, precious and delicate “gifts”
sometimes come heavily wrapped
in protective layers
to allow them to arrive
in absolutely perfect condition.