Monday, August 15, 2016

The Thoughtful Gift

Eufy gave me a present on Friday. That's not her real name. It's a shortened form of Euphemia but that's not her real name either. It's QinJe so as you might have guessed, Eufy is from China. She was in my 8th grade class in her first year in the US and was one of my favorites. Everyday as a freshman, she would pass me in the hall at the end of the day and tell me she missed my class. She's a sophomore this year so she has one more year to wait to have me as her teacher again. Honestly, I would never have thought of giving a present to one of my teachers when I was her age but then, I was undoubtedly not as kind as Eufy as a tenth grader. Here's another tidbit. I did not know what the gift was until Cindi McLeod, our WCS Student Achievement Advisor, informed me that it was a candle holder. Cindi also informed me a Yankee Candle would be perfect for my new treasure and that she was just happening to go to a candle store over the weekend! (Disclaimer here; all I know about Yankee Candles is that my sisters in law love them!) Yesterday, after worship, Cindi brought me two candles, one a Cinnamon Stick and one called Autumn Wreath. My desk has suddenly turned into a very chic hangout!

But wonderful aroma aside, my best takeaway from this episode of a brand new school year centered around something else Cindi told me three days ago. As she came in and measured the candle holder, something no guy would ever think to do, Cindi remarked, "Eufy put a lot of thought into this gift." I had had no thought of her thoughtfulness but when I got around to it, I realized Cindi was right. Eufy is aware that I have made multiple mission trips to both China and Vietnam and that my room is adorned with souvenirs from both countries. I am guessing she also knew I had no candle holder on my desk and so she brought me something unique to my surroundings and representative of her homeland. And her generosity gave me something else as well; the spark to evaluate how I give gifts.

You see, I'm not a very good gift giver. It's not that I'm stingy- it's just that I'm predictable. For example, my guess is that I have given Nate and Karis, my nephew and niece, the same Christmas presents at least five years in a row with a 90 % chance of making it six this December. My brother, Dave? At least ten years running with a Barnes & Noble Gift Card. And it isn't that Karis and Nate and Dave don't like what I put in a little bag for them- they do.  It's just I take the lazy way out. When our Heavenly Father created everything, it was with a perfect plan. It wasn't haphazard or sloppy or subpar. It was the best we could ever dream of for the children He made in His image. And He saved the most important gift, His Son, for just the right time. I'm made in His image but I simply don't follow His example very closely. Eufy does. In doing so, she brought a little more light into my world and by your reading this, into yours as well. The darkness just receded a little bit.

Applicable quote of the day:
“The manner of giving is worth more than the gift.” 
Pierre Corneill

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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