Monday, December 22, 2008

THE GIFT

Author unknown.
I have tried to rewrite this by memory . I heard this many many years ago and have shared it in Christmas Eve services in many churches. I hope you enjoy. Denise


Through kind eyes he watched as she dressed to go out to the Christmas program. She was faithful to go every year on Christmas Eve. He watched as she reached for her coat and he quickly rose to help her with her scarf and hat. It seems to be getting a bit colder outside and he wants her warm.

He is thankful that the little country church is only a couple of miles away, but every year he just has no understanding of the celebration of the Christ child. Oh, he believes in God but he just cannot believe that God, the God came to earth in the body of a baby to save us from our sin, he just could not believe.

Soon after she drove from the house he started a fire in the fireplace, he so loved the warmth and glow that it produced, and then he settled into his favorite chair with a good book to wait for her return. He had not set there long before he felt a chill. Had the wind changed direction? He gazed out his picture window to see that indeed the wind had shifted and blowing right out of the north and snow began to fall. He did love the winter time and this particular night the snowflakes seemed to come alive under the light over the barn.
He is a gentle man with a rugged face etched with the years of work on the farm. He has a tender heart big enough for all those that know him. One of his favorite pastimes was building houses and feeders for his birds. He loved the birds, birds of all kind and he would stand for great lengths of time watching them flit in and out of the grove of trees just outside his window.

It had only been a very short time since his wife had left and the weather had taken a terrible turn for the worse. Snow became ice and the wind was now gale force and he could not see the barn only 500 feet away.

His mind drifted to his wife, but he had comfort in knowing that amidst the precious folks that she worshipped with, someone would see to it that she did not make the journey home alone.

Suddenly he heard it, pounding against the picture window, he turned again to the window and to his horror he saw them. A large flock of birds had been caught unawares by the sudden storm and they were seeking shelter anywhere they could. The warmth of the fire and the light from the window were beckoning them to come and they began to fly into the window in an attempt to escape the storm....... They were falling into the snow as they flew again and again toward the light. Quickly he hurried to close the curtains and turn off the light in order to deter them from trying to enter.

Quickly he grabbed his coat and boots and headed out toward the barn. If he opened the door to his barn and turned on all the lights they would go toward that light. With the lights on and the huge heavy doors braced opened to withstand the fierce wind, he thought surely they would see that he had provided them safety, but they continued to panic as the storm grew in strength. With the passing of each minute they continued to be violently thrashed in the wind. The grove of trees just outside his window were now heavy with ice and above the roar of the wind he could hear the snapping and breaking of the huge branches that supported the feeders and houses.

He was cold from the freezing rain but he just had to find a way to lead them to safety. He hurried into his barn and into the back room that housed all his tubs and barrels of bird seed, and he quickly grabbed the bucket and filled it to the brim with a mixture of sunflower hearts, black sunflower, striped sunflower, also oats, maize, hemp, safflower, and linseed. He quickly hurried toward the grove of trees where the birds were trying to find shelter, he recklessly poured a ample trail of seed from the grove toward the barn. He struggled against the wind and there were several times that he lost his footing and fell onto the ice covered ground.

The storm continued with 50 mph gusts and after several trips to the seed barrel and a trail of seeds that lay before them, they still continued to struggle with storm that was taking their lives. He was weary.......but he continued to try to somehow reach them and show them the way....... For the next 45 minutes or so he left bread crumbs, crumbled cornbread he found on the counter left from dinner, rolled oats from the cupboard and yet they still died.

Cold and wet and weary he stood in the shelter of the barn. The flood lights from the eve of the barn caused the ice covered ground to glisten....it could have been a beautiful sight but tonight he grieved............So many thoughts racing through his mind what more can I do. He stood helpless. Then, a thought came to him, if I could only become one of them, I could lead them to safety.................

As the realization of that thought burst in his mind and the reality of the incarnation of Christ overcame him and he wept. He stood in that cold barn for how long he cannot remember. The night was cold and dark but something inside of him became alive, and he knew that he would never be the same. He stood gazing into the night anxiously awaiting the return of his wife.

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Merry Christmas girls and as we gather together to celebrate this day we remember:

The Father sent many before HIM to give us instruction, yet we continued to perish. HE then sent Jesus to become one of us, to lead us back to the safety of the Father house.

Jesus came without hesitation. He had been with the Father from the beginning of time. He was one with the Trinity. HE came at the request of the Father. He came and lived among us as one of us yet without sin. HE spoke of the love of the Father and bid us to follow HIM. After all HE once lived with the Father, HE knows the way back to the Father. Follow HIM.

HE is The GIFT........ Let us Rejoice........

15 comments:

Denise said...

Bless you for sharing this, love you.

Mimi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Annette said...

so very pretty and so very true.."The Gift" I only wish the whole world could have the this gift as well, it saddens my heart to know that there are people who will never experience what we get to, if only they'd take "The Gift" I Thank Mary allot for giving birth to her son, cause with out her we would not have what so many of us have today! sometimes I think about our Savior taking the beatings, the torture and being hung on the cross during this season of celebration....I LOVE our Lord so much that my heart aches, but it will only ache for a little while, cause I'm GOING to see him one day soon! Thank you dear Lord!!
Love & Hugs
Annette

Mary said...

Denise,

Sorry I haven't been over in a couple of days but things have been crazy here. I will tell you about it later.

This is a beautiful post. Yes, we are like the birds. We struggle to get through the storm when all we have to do is follow our Father and He will guide us.

Merry Christmas, dear friend. I'm going now to see your shop.

Blessings and hugs,
Mary

Mary Isabella and Kiley too! said...

This is so beautiful!!! Merry CHRISTmas..m.

Sharon Brumfield said...

Boy my heart needed that...thank you for posting it.
His love crushes all wayward thoughts and all confusion about our purpose in life.
What would we do without His gift to us?
Love ya girl!
May His love surround and fill your heart this Christmas and in abundance this coming year.

Chris said...

Denise, thank you. This story made me see Him a bit more clearly. Thank you for sharing~

MelanieJoy said...

I'm so glad I took the time to read this. I have a friend who has gotten himself into a lot of misery...oh how I wish his moment would hurry and come...and his eyes open to the Truth...
Merry Christmas Denise! Love you!

Back Through Time said...

Beautiful!
Merry Christmas!!
Michelle

Linda said...

Denise this is so beautiful....thank you. This is a wonderful gift to all of us....Merry Christmas and blessings to you and yours...warm hugs, Linda

Maxine said...

What a beautiful illustration and reminder. God bless you and have a lovely Christmas.

PEA said...

Such a beautiful story to read on Christmas Eve!! May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through! Merry Christmas to you and yours, dear Denise! xoxo

P.S. Thank you so much for the gorgeous crochet cross you enclosed with your Christmas card, I love it!!

Donetta said...

You Sweet thoughtful soul! How perfectly chosen a beautiful gift. The love I have of such book marks is know to our sweet Lord. Your gift was so surprising and fun to recieve. I giggled like a school girl. I am sitting here trying to help Santa (Daddy Man) eat his cookies. The soymilk is going down well for I think the cookie I am eating must have a 1/4 of surgar on it!
Dash told me that he hopes that Santa does not leave all those crumbs like he did last year "It was a mess"!
:)
We play along with the fantasy full well they know it is only fiction. It is still fun.
Never could lie to a child...They celebrate "Father Christmas" who gave gifts to the poor children.
I have two pretty amazing kids.

Deb said...

What a beautiful story, Have a very Merry CHRISTmas:)

Shirley said...

Thank you, Denise, for sharing such a wonderful story. I am a bird lover also. I know God is a bird lover, as His Word tells us that he cares for the sparrows and knows when they fall. Nature is so close to God and he uses nature to teach us many things. All nature is His creation. As I sit here, I am watching as the birds feed at my feeder outside and I think of how much I love God for His creatures that He created for us. He is a wonderful God and wants so much for us to follow Him, as the man in the story with the birds....because He cares. That story is a beautiful illustration of God's love for us. Thank you for sharing it. It touched my heart. I, too, thank you for the nice gift enclosed with your Christmas card. May you be richly blessed through out the coming year for allowing God to use you for His glory.

Love from your sister-in-Christ.