Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SHOP (01/03/19)
TITLE: An Exchange of Grace
By Ken Grant
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While as a single man I do quite a bit of shopping, it is almost exclusively for items that I need myself. The shopping trip for this gift exchange involves shopping for another person and I have grown to enjoy the challenge of thinking about that individual and getting them something that he or she will truly enjoy. My name was Sarah, a young woman I have known for many years and so I set off to a local Christian store that contains a wide array of items. Moving about the store, it was actually nice to be thinking of another and not just about myself. As I grabbed first one, then two, and finally three items whose total value fell just under the maximum, I felt satisfied that I had achieved my goal of getting a gift for Sarah that would bring her joy. I looked forward to the celebration with great anticipation.
The final day of the year came and I headed off to the celebration, gift in hand, and excited to ring out the old year and bring in the new with close friends, good food, and hot coffee. Starbucks run made, food eaten, and games played, we stopped for the gift exchange. Unfortunately for me, Sarah was sick and was unable to attend, but I had done well and I knew she would enjoy her gift whenever she had the opportunity to pick it up. A blessing delayed is still a blessing all the same and I was sure that my gift would help Sarah start the new year off focused on Jesus Christ and ready to live her life well.
The part that I tend to forget until it happens is that I am also the recipient of a gift. The identity of the person who will give you a gift is unknown until the moment that the gifts are distributed. The person was Rick. I have know him for many years and he knows me very well. It was clear that he had taken the time to shop for a gift that was personal to me and that I would enjoy. The fact that another person would do that for me was both exciting and humbling. He bought me a musical compact disc, knowing my love for Christian music, and a gift card to the local Christian bookstore where I could select something at my leisure. His thoughtfulness made the celebration that much more special.
Looking back, I realized that each of us had turned shopping, a normally mundane practice, into an opportunity to put another first and to consider the needs of another person above our own. In doing so, we each gave another person a touch of grace and I look forward to doing it again in the year to come.
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