I imagined what it would be like to literally, physically hand over this gift of mine to Jesus Christ himself.
And as I thought about it, and let it play out in my mind, a story immerged, and I wrote it down.
It is simple, and not an amazing piece of writing. But it is from my heart. And I wanted to share it.
Merry Christmas everyone.
"There were only 4 days left until Christmas.
It didn't feel like enough time to find the perfect gift, the ooh and aah inspiring item that would help the most amazing person I knew, feel the love that I had for Him.
I had pondered for a long time what I could give someone who has everything.
It was no easy task coming up with a gift that would surpass all other gifts.
But I had finally found it, buried beneath a mountain of other things. I had to dig deep, but when I pulled it from the pile, I knew I had struck gold.
It wasn't a gift that I could give anyone. Most wouldn't even know what to do with it. Most would fling it back at me and ask why I would give them such a thing as this, this seemingly broken and damaged offering.
And at first I had let me own doubts keep me from wrapping up my present. It had remained in a corner for a while, waiting to be carefully covered in beautiful Christmas paper, complete with ribbons and bows.
When I finally found the courage to gather it in my arms and begin to wrap it, I found that I was reluctant to part with it.
Sure, it was used and worn and a dead weight upon me, but I hesitated to give it away. Some part of me wanted to treasure this item that brought me no joy, instead of giving it to One who could make something beautiful out of it.
But I took a deep breath, and told myself, "This is the perfect gift. He will know what to do with it."
And so I proceeded to lovingly wrap it with care. Gently creasing the paper to make perfect lines. Curling the ribbon that would wrap it all up. And placing the largest and most beautiful of bows on top.
When I finished, I wondered if I should include a card.
What could I possibly say that would explain why I needed to give him this particular item?
He had asked me to give this to him many times. So He would already know that this was a momentous occasion for me. But still, I needed to tell Him why this gift was so important. Why I needed to give it to Him, of all people. And what I hoped and dreamed He would do with it.
So I sat, and I pondered all that this item had meant to me. I had owned it for years. At first I saw great value in it. But over time, I realized that owning it was in fact a great burden to me. Yet still, I obstinantly clung to it. Dependent upon it. Even as it drained me and left me bent from it's weight. I became scared that letting it go would be like losing a dear friend.
But finally, I knew deep within, that giving it to someone else was the only way to free myself from it forever. I couldn't just hide it away in a dark corner, or keep it buried under so many of the good things I owned.
I had to give it away, and do so willingly.
All these thoughts crowded upon me as I wrote out the card to accompany the glittering wrapped gift.
Finally I decided upon these words.
"I know that you have hoped I would give this to you for years. That you, of all people, will know exactly what is to be done with it. So here it is. It is not pretty. It is damaged and it's weight is almost more than I can lift anymore.
So I am giving it to you. And I know that you will accept it with joy and love, despite the condition it is in. And that because of you, I will finally be free from carrying it any longer."
With the card inscribed, the present wrapped, I knew He would be there soon to pick it up, and I waited patiently by the door.
My stomach twisted in knots as I lifted the present, knowing I would never need to lift it again.
Why was I so nervous?
I knew He would gladly accept this from me. And I knew that He would love me, even after seeing the state it was in. But still, I couldn't help but worry that even He would be shocked when He saw what I had been carrying around with me for so long.
As I heard the knock at the door, I looked down at the package in my arms one more time. I didn't have to answer the door. I could pretend to not be home and He would still not be angry with me.
But I knew it was time to part with it, so I hesistantly opened the door, a small smile upon my lips.
With an increasingly lightness of spirit, I invited Him in and handed the package over to Him to open.
Already, my heart was lifted, my shoulders less stooped. And my stomach unknotted.
As I watched Him read the card and then begin to unwrap my gift, I had one last moment of doubt, only to have it washed away with the look upon His face as He gazed at what He held in His hands.
His perfect hands. The hands that had been pierced, and still bore the scars. The hands that now gently reached to pull me into His embrace.
"Thank you." He said. "Thank you for giving this to me, for entrusting me with it. You don't have to bear the burden anymore."
I couldn't even breathe a reply. I was so overwhelmed with the relief and gratitude I felt. And still a little confused at what He could possibly do with something so damaged and ruined.
But I believed Him. And I knew that He would now willingly shoulder this burden for me, and never make me take it back.
He then told me that He had a gift for me as well.
"A gift for me?"I wondered. "But it's your birthday."
He just smiled as He handed me a small box. Nothing rattled inside or clinked like so many presents I had received.
But as I opened it, my eyes widened in wonder. For instead of a trinket or other shining object, He had given me the most prized of all gifts.
He had given me, Peace.
It flooded over me. Overwhelming my heart and mind and suffusing my body with warmth and joy.
As tears streamed down my face, I could barely mutter a word of thanks, so overcome as I was with gratitude.
I had given Him my most worn, used and broken of possessions. And in return, He gave me more than I could have ever imagined.
Looking into His eyes, my vision clouded by tears, He said simply, "Now be whole."
As He gathered up my gift and made His way out the door, I knew that the next time I had something broken and burdensome, I would gladly give it to Him.
And in return, the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Lords, my Savior and King, would gladly receive it and leave me with more than I could ever give Him.
I gently closed the door behind Him, and with my body and spirit swirling with His gift of peace, I began to ponder and think upon what I would give Him next year.
With all I had to choose from, I knew it would just be a matter of deciding what I could finally let go of. And that no matter what it was I gave him, He would always give me more in return."