Gifts from Our Father - A Christmas Memory by Joyce Martin

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So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!
Luke 11:9-13

My family had a house fire when I was five years old.  It was just before Christmas and Mom and Dad moved us into a rented singlewide trailer in a park just outside of town and began the slow process of recovering from the financial and emotional loss.  They tried to prepare us for a modest Christmas morning, but with the persistent, hopeful heart of a kindergartener, I made my wish list just the same.
 

  • A pink Cinderella record player.
  • A jewelry box with a dancing ballerina.


And the most important item on my list . . .
 

  • A Shirley Temple doll with blonde ringlets, a red-and-white polka dot dress, and shiny black patent leather shoes.


After a sleepless Christmas Eve, we woke up to find apples, oranges, and sock monkeys.  Although years have blurred the memory of my disappointment, as a parent I can only imagine how my mom and dad felt to be unable to fulfill their children’s Christmas dreams.  I am sure the morning was filled with stories about gratefulness and contentment, and reminders that there was always someone else less fortunate than we.

But the next moment will be etched in my memory forever.  Dad stepped outside and immediately came back in yelling something at Mom, who squealed and then followed him back outside.  They came back in with armloads of packages someone had left in our car. After several trips our living room floor was covered with wrapped presents and three little Martin kids began to tear into them.

And to my delight three of the gifts with my name on them were:

 

  • A pink Cinderella record player.
  • A jewelry box with a dancing ballerina.
  • A Shirley Temple doll with blonde ringlets, a red-and-white polka dot dress, and shiny black patent leather shoes!


If Mom and Dad ever found out who left the gifts, they never told us.

You will never convince me that God doesn’t care about the Christmas wishes of a child and likewise the yearnings of a parent to help make those wishes a reality.  I believe that He uses moments like this to reveal the image of His love for us and the beauty of the family of God.


--
This story is an excerpt from the Gaither Homecoming Bible, published by Thomas Nelson Publishing (2012).

  1. cherdou@charter.net's picture
    5408
    cherdou@charter.net:

    Awesome story. God is good and most all the time people do get their wishes if it is God's desire to do so. God bless you and your family and a blessed christmas to all.

    5 years 47 weeks ago
  2. jodistur's picture
    5407
    jodistur:

    Thank you for this wonderful gift! Joyce is such a blessing!

    5 years 47 weeks ago