I visited a friend recently whose home had been invaded by giraffes.
Stuffed with fluff and mile-wide toothless grins, they told me plenty about the home I was visiting: it was a happy sort of place with a lot of littles underfoot. Three to be exact, stairsteps from nine months to four years.
Oh, I remember that time of life! Just like my friend Kim, when my third was born my oldest was months away from her fifth birthday. The days were long and some of them demanded e v e r y t h i n g of me just to make it to bedtime. Theirs…and then mine. No one could have loved their babies more or savored each season with more relish than me, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard at times.
Motherhood and ministry, Jesus and Germany, life and love–our conversation never stopped. And no matter where we wandered in her home ~ usually to follow her babies ~ there was a giraffe or two smiling back at me.
I couldn’t help mentioning it; something about them pricked my mama heart, I suppose the memory of my own daughter’s collection of lovies. Usually kitties, now given or boxed away. except for Princess, her Velveteen Rabbit.
But our time was limited and talk of giraffes swiftly moved on to other things.
Too soon it was time to go.
As we walked to the door to hug our good-byes, Kim pressed something soft and cuddly into my hand: it was the tiniest giraffe.
“I want you to take this back with you to Germany,” she began. “Every time you look at it, remember there are people here who love you, remember you, and are praying for you whether you know it or not.”
Her eyes meant business as she looked straight through my own and into my heart, her tone insistent but not demanding, “Don’t ever forget it….”
She was speaking life into my future, months down the road, when living abroad might loose a bit of its sparkle and shine. When I might feel lonely and forgotten. How could she possibly know? I wondered.
But isn’t this what we all crave, regardless of stage of life or our circumstances?
We need to be crazy-loved.
We want to be known and remembered.
We cherish prayer on our behalf.
Because this is the will of God.
A grown woman with a stuffed giraffe might sound ridiculous to some people, but to me it is a treasure! In a child’s stuffed toy, I have been (and will be!) loved and remembered and prayed for. In a simple, spontaneous gesture, Kim made a difference in my life and seeded joy for the future.
Aren’t the best gifts we receive the ones that transcend the gift itself?
Best gifts are tokens of love and affection.
Best gifts are forever remembered.
Best gifts remind us of the giver.
Best gifts don’t satisfy a physical appetite or desire but they can encourage, inspire, challenge and bring hope and healing.
Best gifts touch our heart, soul and spirit.
For God so loved the world that He gave…
Yes…! Jesus is the BEST best gift.
Lovies, tell us all about a “best gift” you’ve received. In so doing, you’ll pay honor to the giver and you’ll give the rest of us ideas about how we can be best givers.
By Robin Dance, author of PENSIEVE, who gives high regard to, and happens to prefer, a thoughtful re-gift.Leave a Comment