In your own experience, who has historically been the parent most likely to shop for and/or create all the gifts given in your family? For me it was my mother. As a result, I really don’t remember many details about the gifts she gave me. Except that she generously gave to her children. So many gifts over the years. And so much of herself.
Also as a result, I vividly recall every one of the few gifts my father gave me. In 8th grade I won the county spelling bee. He seemed really pleased with that, and to my surprise the next day he came home with a gift. A new fishing pole with a Zebco open-face reel. Every girl’s dream? Probably not, but I was ecstatic. Fishing was “our thing”. This rod and reel was used very often until his health declined a few years later.
And “a few years later”, he surprised me with a birthday present for my 17th birthday. Actually, two gifts. A new typewriter. AND an electric hedge trimmer. Again, not every girl’s dream gift. The typewriter, though, was used a lot. I still have it hidden away in a closet somewhere, no longer used. Because, you know, technology. As it happened, those were the last gifts he would ever buy for me. He passed four months after my 17th birthday. I just can’t part with the typewriter.
I have one granddaughter, age 15. She is blessed with a very adoring father who would give her and her brother the moon if he could. Last month their family stayed with us over the Christmas holiday. The first morning after they arrived my granddaughter was absolutely frantic because she couldn’t find the bracelet her dad had just recently given her. Tears fell. Searching commenced. No bracelet was found. Perhaps she’d really not worn it to our home. She reluctantly said she would look when they returned back home.
After they returned home she texted grandpa and me and begged us to look again because it was not at home. Search the yard, search the room she sleeps in, search everywhere PLEASE!!! We are adoring grandparents, so of course we searched and searched. No luck.
Are you wondering about this magnificent piece of jewelry that had been lost? Was it purchased from a high end jeweler? Did it have precious stones that would make it a theft risk?
The answer is no. But oh, the bracelet was most definitely precious. Because of the relationship between the recipient and the giver. The dad and his little girl.
I asked her Dad the back story on this bracelet, thinking he’d spent a wad of money to purchase it.
The answer? It was free. It came from Bangladesh. Parents of one of his band students do missionary work there. The jewels are pearls, but they are “dirt cheap” over there. Dad tried to pay the parents but it was a gift, they adamantly insisted. Generous hearts, I’d say.
I took this photo. After I found the bracelet. !! Days later, after searching the yard, garage, trash bins, you name it, I was stripping the bedding from my granddaughter’s bed. I lifted up the folded comforter that was laying on top of the bedspread, and it fell out. Faster than I’ve ever moved before, I placed it in a safe place until we see her later this week. Then I quickly texted my granddaughter and both of her parents. What a happy moment, especially for the granddaughter. And, I believe, her dad.
I can’t help but think of Jesus’ parable about the Pearl of Great Price. Have you read it? It’s in Matthew 13: 45-46. Jesus says the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for the most precious jewel of those days, the pearl. When he finds it, he sells everything he owns, gives up everything he has, just to possess it. A priceless treasure. Never to be sold or disposed of. Carefully protected, never to be lost.
This parable is very short. Really just these two verses. Always I have thought the main point of the parable is that being a Christian, belonging to the kingdom of heaven, knowing Christ, is worth giving up everything to possess. Everything. More valuable than anything you can dream or imagine.
From what I read, though, it likely has two parallel meanings. Yes, belonging to the Kingdom of God is the invaluable “pearl of great price”. But honestly, Jesus found us first. Each one of us is his very precious “pearl of great price”. We are so precious to Him that he….gave up his very life so that we can be His forever. Our salvation means everything to him.
You may not consider yourself a “pearl of great price”. But, oh, my friend, you are. Jesus treasures you so much he died for you. All he asks in return is your heart. It’s all about the loving relationship between the The Father and his child.