Monday, December 21, 2009

A Very Special Gift

Years before Kacie graduated from high school, Kim began planning a very special gift to give to her—a quilt comprised of t-shirts that symbolized various aspects of Kacie’s life over the years: her pre-school dance and gymnastics classes; her grade school softball and soccer teams; special vacations to Disney World and the Grand Canyon; her high school band years; and teen mission trips to Monterrey, Mexico. Kim had been collecting these shirts Kacie’s whole life. Those shirts survived 5 moves in 18 years, but Kim was so excited about this special gift. She selected just the right mix of shirts that she thought would be most meaningful to Kacie.

Early in Kacie’s senior year, Kim took the shirts she had so carefully chosen to the lady who was going to do the quilt. We got the quilt back shortly before Kacie’s graduation party, and we were both so pleased with the way it turned out. Kim could hardly wait to give it to Kacie.

On the day of Kacie’s graduation party, we carefully draped the quilt over the railing in the entryway so that when Kacie came in, it would be the first thing she’d see. Kim was beside herself waiting for Kacie’s reaction.

I’ll never forget it. Kacie came in the door, looked up and saw this quilt made up of all these shirts representing special times in her life over the years. It took several seconds for it to register with her, but as she identified these special images from her childhood, tears welled up in Kacie’s eyes and she cried, “Oh no, what did you do to my shirts?!”

Not quite the Hallmark moment we expected.

Now in all fairness to Kacie, she very quickly came to appreciate and cherish that gift, but her initial reaction made me resent all the time, effort and love that Kim had put into it.

When you think about it, Kacie’s first reaction to her gift is not unlike the reaction of many people to the gift that God has given to us--a gift that He has given out of the overflowing love of His heart. The most special, most precious gift He could give. Yet many people resist it, mock it, ignore it and even reject it.

Yet God doesn’t resent His gift. He doesn’t withdraw it. He doesn’t restrict it. He continues to make it available. Not just at Christmas, but every day of the year.