Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Shoes

PhotobucketBy Tammy L. Hensel


“You know I can’t walk the stores anymore, so will you pick out a present for me to give Danny?

I counted the money my grandmother handed me and smiled in appreciation.

“Oh, thank you. This is the exact price of the shoes we looked at in the mall.”

”Shoes? That's boring. I want to give him a toy he will be excited to open Christmas morning."

"But, he really needs shoes and we can't afford them."

I understood my grandmother’s desire to give her first great-grandchild something special. She anticipated that at 18 months old, he would truly experience the magic of the day for the first time. She wanted to have a part in creating that excitement with a marvelous toy. Yet, she also related to our practical need, having raised my mother during the Great Depression. So she agreed to give the shoes.

As Christians, God calls us to put aside our own desires to meet the needs of others. “Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men (Philippians 2:4-7).”

My grandmother did that, not expecting any special recognition for her gift from Danny, although she knew my gratitude. But God gave her a surprise on that Christmas morning almost thirty years ago.

Our son sat in the middle of my grandmother’s living room surrounded by brightly colored packages. We showed him how to tear the paper and soon he busily ripped into one and then another. He showed more interest in the wrappings and boxes, than he did the gifts themselves, barely playing with one toy before moving on to the next.
Then he came to the present from my grandmother. "Shooooes," he exclaimed as he held them up, pleasure radiating from his face.No other gift evoked such an animated response. Not only did he know how to say the word, he knew what to do with them. Immediately he pulled off his old shoes and stuck his toes in the new ones.

As I tied the laces, I glanced over at my grandmother’s face. It shone with unexpected joy.

copyright Tammy L. Hensel 2013 All Rights Reserved

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