"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift"
2 Corinthians 9:15 (NIV)
Last year, due to the busyness of the Christmas season, I was unable to wrap our Christmas gifts before Christmas Eve. Until then, an unassuming red box with a stick-on silver bow maintained its lonely vigil beneath our tree. The box was a gift our eldest daughter had brought to us the previous Thanksgiving Day. Oddly enough, it was empty!
As Christmas Day arrived and family members gathered, each brought and placed a small object of remembrance and thanksgiving into the box as instructed by our daughter. Later, after an extraordinary dinner, we sat around a beautifully lit tree, opened the box one by one, took out the article each had put in, and shared our thoughts concerning it.
Cherished memories spilled forth, accompanied by gratitude, laughter, and an ocassional tear while the spirit of Christmases past and present wondrously filled the room, our hearts, and our lives. As a result, those who had passed on took their rightful place within our family circle once again in almost tangible presence, reminding us that they live on beneath everything we do and all that we are.
Today, the red box, after being opened numerous times at two Christmas family gatherings, still remains! It appears no worse for the wear as its profound impact on our family lingers.
The God-given gift of a family is a circle that can never be broken, a gift that will always remain. And just as the impact of the little red box will maintain a prominent place within our hearts after all else has faded, so will the spirits of those we love.
It is quite astonishing how full an ordinary, empty box can be when the true Spirit of Christmas fills it and pours the contents of his love upon our hearts and lives. This outpouring, is truly an indescribable gift which will always remain!