Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Christmas Gifts (11/13/08)
TITLE: The Gift Unacknowledged
By Catrina Bradley
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Her heart snaps in two when she hears a niece exclaim, “Where’s my Hannah Montana Malibu Beach House? I specifically asked for a Hannah Montana Malibu Beach House and I didn’t get it.” The little girl’s face is all apout, the stack of opened gifts in front of her ignored. Where is gratitude? Where is contentment?
She wants to weep as she witnesses the children greedily salivating over the cash and gift cards they’d received. “I got $75 cash, and $50 in cards What’d you get?” “No fair! You got more than I did!”
Only leftovers remain of the feast her mother-in-law had spent days planning, preparing, and cooking, and the Christmas china has been washed and put away until next year. The tree is forlorn, bare of the presents so carefully selected and wrapped in the preceding weeks. Along with the food and the wrapping paper, it seems all joy has departed from the house and the holiday.
Shawna’s heart cries out to the One she knows must share her sorrow.Father, my Father, what have we become? What have Your children done with Your Son? Forgive us. Convict us.
The angel humbled himself before God, prostate with grief and with expectation, the confusing combination of emotions causing him anguish. “My Lord, surely the end is near. I’ve witnessed such a maligning of Your gift. A travesty. Your people have forgotten their Creator; they are ambivalent toward their Savior. They’ve made a mockery of the day they themselves chose to celebrate His first coming. His second coming cannot far off, can it? Surely You will call Your children home soon?”
God sadly shook His head. “If only it were so, but, alas, worse is yet to come. You must remain vigilant at your post. Guard the woman. Protect her from our enemy.”
Shawna fakes a yawn and rubs her right eye as a subterfuge for drying a tear. A comforting arm drops over her shoulders. She turns to look into the eyes of her husband and meets sunshine. She reaches for his hand and closes her eyes.
Thank You, Lord, that I am not alone here in my love for You. Thank You for the gift of Life, the gift of Love…the gift of Your Son. Help me remember how precious Your gift is, and most of all, help me share it with those I love.
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