The scriptures say “if you, being evil, know how to give good gifts…” And it’s true–we do. We know how to give very good gifts. We work hard to do so. We drive hither and yon to find just that right special something for that special someone.
And then we have the rug pulled right out from under us.
What do I mean?
My wife and I were sitting at dinner recently one evening–with our little sweetlings–and our precious five year-old announces, out of the blue, just as calm as you please, “This year, I’m getting a bike and a pillow.”
“How do you know,” asks mom. “Did you peak?”
“No, mommy. I didn’t peak.”
“Did you go in my closet?”
“Um, uh, [whispered oh so quietly] maybe in the claw-aw-zet.”
“Ok, wow. Guess there won’t be any surprises for you. Maybe we should take all your presents back then?”
“You know, sweetie, Santa only gives us so much in the budget for presents,” I say. “How sad for you that you won’t have any surprises on Christmas day.”
“What do you think, mommy? I’m kinda leaning towards a nice low sulphur coal. How about you?”
“Sounds like a great idea!”
“No, mommy! What’s coal?”
“Coal is what little girls who peak at their Christmas surprises get–instead of gifts,” I replied.
“But, daddy. No. I’m sorry.”
“We know you’re sorry, sweetie. We know.”
And so it goes in the “Merry Christmas Peep Show.”
Instead of taking away her gifts, my wife and I surprised our daughter with other things that she didn’t know about. We could’ve gone that direction, turned it into a life lesson, but–I’m not quite sure it was conscious–I’d like to think that we turned it into a lesson about grace. As in: not only are we not taking your things away, but we’re also giving you more besides. Maybe we should’ve gone that direction. Who knows? Hope she catches the notion that God–and indeed we–love her no matter what she does.
What do you think moms and dads? What would you have done?