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The Joy Box
by Patricia Sprague
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Renee was becoming a bit overwhelmed with all the boxes, magazines and clutter that surrounded her in the dusty living room. She had volunteered to help clean her beloved Grammy’s house. Just two weeks ago, Grammy had died peacefully in her sleep. Renee missed her greatly. Grammy was kind, loving and soft-spoken.

Wiping the sweat from her brow, Renee began sorting through the boxes, bags and drawers filled with odds and ends. “Why did Grammy keep all this stuff?” thought Renee. Why couldn’t she just throw it away? Renee was a neat freak. In her mind, if it didn’t have a place or purpose it should be thrown away. She spied several boxes, marked craft supplies. They were filled with crochet needles, thread, buttons and skeins and skeins of colored yarn. Memories of Grammy’s Christmas gifts flashed through Renee’s mind. Everyone always knew what they would receive from Grammy at Christmas, because every year she crotched something. Sometimes, the family would joke about Grammy’s gifts. Renee wondered what to do with her own gifts from Grammy, so she had secretly packed them away and put them in her back closet. Renee remembered the year Grammy had stopped her gift giving, because Grammy’s hands had become too painful and crippled with arthritis.

Rene stood up and stretched and decided to take a break. She wandered into her Grammy’s bedroom. The closet door was a jar and she noticed a large box, marked JOY BOX. Peering inside she saw hundreds of Christmas cards! “My goodness!” thought Renee, “ Grammy , why did you save all these?” As she opened the cards, she saw that Grammy had written comments about the people who had sent the cards. Births, deaths, marriages, graduations and birthdays were noted. Grammy had also described the gift she had made for them that year. What peeked Renee’s curiosity was the shaky checkmarks all over the cards. Checkmarks were on the inside and the outside of the cards. Renee was perplexed. Why did someone put checkmarks all over these cards? Did Grammy do this?
Now, knee-deep in cards, Renee noticed a large white envelope on the bottom of the box. On the outside of the envelope was written, My JOY BOX. She opened the envelope and found a letter written by her Grammy. It read:

To Whoever Finds This Letter…
You may certainly be wandering about all my Christmas cards and all my check marks! Well, let me tell you about my JOY BOX. First of all I am so thankful for the times that I could make a little gift for all my family and friends for Christmas. Most people did not know this, but as I sat in my chair crocheting my gift, that every stitch or every loop that I made represented a little prayer said for that person. My dear husband suggested that idea one night as he watched me making my gifts. I sure thought that was a grand idea!

With my dear husband gone now and my hands too crippled to make my gifts, well I sure had some lonely, sad nights. Did I tell you that Christmas has always been my favorite time of year? But, sometimes Christmas would be months away. So, sometimes, I would get out my Christmas cards from the years before and read them and that would cheer me up. Then, as I thought about that person, I would say a little prayer for them and every time I would say a prayer, I put a checkmark on the card. So, you see that is why all those checkmarks are there. They represent just a little prayer said for them and my lonely nights turned into joyful nights.
I hope you will have your own JOY BOX someday.

Love and little prayers to you,

Renee lovingly gathered up the cards and placed them back into the JOY BOX. Tears fell as she closed the lid and carried it to her car. She quickly went back inside and picked up the boxes of craft supplies and placed them in her car. She was thinking that these boxes would never be thrown away. She was also thinking of that box in her back closet and she was thinking about the gifts she would be crocheting for Christmas this year.

If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be! TRUST JESUS NOW

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Member Comments
Member Date
Nathan Perkins 13 Jul 2007
I enjoyed this story emensley. I was also inspired to pray more and was reminded of my own grandma. Thanks. At the begining of the letter I think it was suppose to read w-o-ndering instead of w-a-ndering. Also, I was confused by the last paragraph. Who was talking in the last two sentences? I hope this is helpful.
Jessica Campbell 10 May 2007
What a great story, a good reminder for us to pray. Thanks for sharing


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