By Elizabeth Prata
So if you, despite being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! (Matthew 7:11).
Parents know what their children need and want and would bring them joy. So they give good gifts. The Father in heaven knows all the greater what to give His children.
Today I’m looking at what children give their parents. Let’s think about the gifts children give to the adult loved ones in their life.
A mainstay of television comedy shows is the trope where the kids make ‘breakfast in bed’ for mom on Mother’s Day. The humor comes in when we see their clumsy result, burned toast, practically raw eggs sliding off the plate, and coffee so strong you can stand up a spoon in it. Kids, with well-intentioned but inept execution, with their little hands and lack of understanding, proudly present their best efforts. We smile and say ‘Awww, how sweet’ and receive the gift graciously. We chuckle with the other adults, and say, ‘aw, they mean well.’ We know that their hearts are in the right place, because they love us. Their efforts do not go unrewarded, but they are incapable of presenting something to us that’s more suitable due to their age and immaturity.
I receive little gifts like that every day from students at school. I love all of them. They are given with a pure heart and love and with the ceremony of an Olympic Medal pomp. And I receive these gifts as such.
Yesterday I received a broken piece of plastic with gold glitter on it, and a crushed dandelion head. The glitter plastic was given to me personally, by a kindergartener who searched in her backpack for the longest time in order to find it. “I know it’s in here”, she said, “I feel it.” I waited patiently while she fished around, it was obviously something she had on her heart to purposely give with planning aforethought. She finally dug it out, and proudly held it up in front of my eyes.
I said, “Oh, that’s lovely!” and she shyly replied, “It’s for YOU!”
“Thank you!” I said, “I love it!” and she skipped off happily.
At the end of the day, my second graders come in from recess hot, happy, and thirsty. I wasn’t in the room yesterday when they burst in with grassy feet and boisterous voices. I arrived a short while later to find a crushed dandelion head on my table where I sit. A lone, crumbled, dead flower lay there. It was proudly given (I learned later) by a girl who anxiously asked me, “Did you find the flower I left for you?”
“I certainly did! It’s right here!” I’d put it in a small container to take home with me and pointed to it.
She smiled from ear to ear and nodded her head in satisfaction. The gift was seen and appreciated and honored. She skipped off, happy.
You know how you feel when a child comes to you with a badly wrapped gift, containing a dead flower or their old toy or a crumbled up crayon drawing. We love it! How much more does the Father in heaven smile indulgently when we, His children, present Him with a good gift? If we’re saved by grace and giving to Him earnestly, we are little children to our Father. In our love and devotion to Him we give Him crumbled up flowers and pieces of glittery plastic. He smiles indulgently and says “Aw, that little child of mine gave me a sweet little gift…’
How must it seem to Him, so high up, watching us run around on the playground, hot, happy, thinking of Him and deciding to give Him a little gift. He is indulgent, He is patient. He is our Father who loves His children to the ends of the earth and forever and ever.