Look who joined me this morning:
Something has been bothering me lately. And I have so much to share about it that I know it can’t possibly fit in one post. Because this one issue sort of encompasses – well – everything that I have come to know, have experienced, and all that brings out the boldness in me that most people wouldn’t dream lies underneath my seemingly calm exterior. (Haha)
Not only those things, but it makes me cross the boundaries of my professional and personal personas. And the fact that it does that has me wondering if that isn’t the very reason God has brought me to this place – to show me how it all really fits together.
So – how much of this apperceptual mass do I share today? Let’s start with a few questions.
- What is your definition of a gift?
- Is a gift something you need or something you want?
- How well do you receive gifts?
- Once received, how much a part of your life does that gift encompass? (Do you use it everyday or throw it to the back of your closet and forget about it?)
I promise to develop this whole line of thought over the coming days – maybe weeks, but those of you who have read my thoughts recently are probably coming to understand that I have stories or illustrations for where my brain is trying to go. So, without further adieu:
I was maybe thirteen when I saw it. It was exquisite. Beautifully creamy white leather, fashioned into the most amazing Rock Star/Christy Brinkley/Uptown Girl-esque fringed jacket. Shoulder pads, zippers, and that beautiful leather fringe forming such a swishy v-yoke across the shoulders- oh- to die for. (Cut me some slack – it was the ’80s people. And, come to think of it, it was very similar to the one that Sloan wears in Ferris Beuller’s Day Off if that helps your imagination.)
My grandmother was with me when I saw it. She was, and is, a shopping guru – able to track down the lowest price and discount things down to the point that – no joke – I have witnessed her pay for what should have been about a three hundred dollar purchase with a penny from the change cup next to the register. That’s A penny – one, uno – she’s that good.
But still, this one jacket was more than two hundred dollars – and I was still growing- and I knew better than to ask – and I didn’t. But she watched me hold my breath in awe every time I came near it and knew that my interest in shopping for the day was done. To be honest I don’t like shopping – in fact it is the last thing I ever want to do on the planet. Even for groceries. Even when I’m hungry.
Summer was soon over and we went back home- rather we moved to a new home several states away. Christmas came and packages arrived from my grandmother. There was an extra large clothing box with my name on it. I hoped. I wished. I got nervous thinking about it.
Finally the day arrived. I almost couldn’t open it my hands were shaking so badly. I lifted the lid of the box. Deep breath. Unfolded the tissue paper with a feeling that I was going to faint. And there – in that box that held so much anticipation – was . . .
not my jacket.
What was in the box was a jacket. It even had white fringe on it. Made of something that might have been leather or might have been cardboard. And the jacket itself was not white, creamy leather. It was yellowish, acid-washed denim.
Now, some of you may think the acid- washed one is completely cool – but when you are going to a new school and imagining the rise in popularity that will take place when you walk down the hall looking like Sloan – and then you imagine yourself wearing this one instead – it just isn’t the same.
So I ask you again – what is your definition of a gift?
There is much more to this story – and my grandmother still gets to be my hero in the end, but for today – just imagine yourself opening a box like that. Maybe it’s a real box, or maybe we will eventually let it represent something else (hint hint). And ask yourself – what would I do?