God gives the best gifts

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 22, 2011

It doesn’t take much of a reason for us to get together, but when we realized my cousin Tommye Lou’s birthday was coming up, it was more than enough motivation for my mom, Aunt Judy and I to spend a day with her. We shopped, we ate, and we saved the best for last — the gifts.

“I’m not sure if you’re going to like it,” Aunt Judy began, “but don’t worry about it. I love it, and if you don’t want it, I’ll take it and get something else for you.”

Tommye Lou held up the beautiful red scarf, which had a large charm attached to the center. “I thought this red color would be perfect for you. Look, this is how you wear it,” Aunt Judy continued as she took the scarf and placed it around her own neck. It really was pretty. She slowly removed the scarf and handed it back to the birthday girl, who promptly placed it around her head! “Or you wear it like that…but I don’t mind keeping it…”

Now it was my turn. I wasn’t sure how she’d feel about the book I bought, so I, too, offered a choice. “I’m not sure if you have time to read, but if you do, this is a book I really enjoyed. If you don’t want it, I’ll keep it and get something else for you.” She looked at the new copy of Todd Burpo’s book, “Heaven is for Real,” and said, “I’ve heard of this.”

“Me, too,” Aunt Judy said.

“What’s it about?” asked my mom, and a long (trust me, long) conversation followed as we discussed the book. It was finally time for my mom’s gift.

“I’d just like to say something before you open it,” she said. “If you don’t like it, or it’s the wrong size, don’t worry. They fit me, so I’ll just keep them and get something else for you.” Tommye Lou quickly assured her that the comfortable looking zebra print slippers were perfect. Despite our offers, she scooped up her gifts and headed for home. We did, too. Well, we did after we stopped for Aunt Judy and Mom to each buy a copy of “Heaven is for Real.”

I recently spoke to Tommye Lou and discovered she has already worn the slippers and the scarf. She also read the book and is ready to read it again. It didn’t take her long to use her gifts.

Gifts! I love giving them, and I don’t mind receiving them, either. Of all the gifts I’ve been given, I must say that God’s are the best. He liberally gives talents and spiritual gifts expressly suited for the individual. It’s our responsibility to develop and use the gifts for His glory. His ultimate gift is one that is continually offered. Daily, people choose to accept or reject the gift described in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

There is nothing else to compare to that gift. May it be accepted and shared.

Ronny may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.