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"The Gift"

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 Today's devotional is from a writing project I titled, "Noah's Legacy". It's just a fictional yet hopefully inspirational story written in hope that it reminds you this Christmas that the best gifts are not found in stores but rather the best gifts any of us can give at Christmas or really any time throughout the year, are the gifts that come from the heart, or in Noah's case here, from the hand. Merry Christmas to you, and thank you for allowing me to share, "The Gift" with you.


"The Gift"


"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life."


John 6:63


As the snow fell outside Abby sat in the armchair by the fireplace wrapped in a fleece blanket and starred through the tears at a piece of paper she held in her hands that Noah had given her for Christmas some 40 years ago that now since his passing had become even more cherished than when he was alive. On one side there were two hands, one outlining Noah's hand and safely outlined inside the lines of his was Abby's, much smaller of course but seemingly perfectly designed to fit in his. On the other side was a letter from Noah explaining "the gift" of this simple drawing he gave her that Christmas long ago.


"My dearest Ab's", the letter opened with, as Noah always called her Ab's which was short for "Abby". He went on to write, "It's hard to believe that we have only been married for three short years as I feel like you have been a part of me all my life. As I was thinking of what to get you for Christmas this year as money has been very tight I began thinking back to what life was before you and for the life of me I can't remember my life without you but I know I existed. Isn't it funny how when you love someone deep you lose all track of time, that is, when you are together? When we are apart that old clock on the wall of my office just seems at times like it is ticking in reverse. Sometimes I even check it to see if it's broke.


You see Ab's, I love being with you more than anything in this world and when I can't be with you I feel incomplete, I feel broke. From the day you walked into my life my world has never been the same. When we are apart I feel out of step and empty. You fill a void in my heart that nothing else can. Some days I find myself sitting at my desk thinking about you and wondering what you are doing, how your day is going and of course, I wonder if you miss me as much as I miss you. In three short years I have come to know the answer to that question every time I drive up and see your beautiful face looking back at me.


When I see you my whole world is brighter. It makes no difference what the day was like, for when I look into your eyes it's as if a switch gets flipped in me. There is nothing like looking at you and seeing you looking back at me. Those moments are by far and away the most beautiful for me to behold. You, my love, are my oasis, my paradise and there is no place I'd rather be than in the arms of the one who loves me. Even when we are a part I can hear your voice and I can smell your smell. I can feel your tenderness, and oh, your touch, there is nothing like the touch of your hand on my skin. I am like freshly churned butter when you reach out for me. As I sat thinking of a special gift to give you for Christmas this year, I am learning that of all the gifts I can give you and the ones you love most are the ones from my heart. As I listened to my heart it came to me, the thought of the perfect gift for you this year. I know how much I love your touch and I thought there was no better way to span the distance between us when we are apart than to give you a copy of my hand to remind you I am always reaching out to you patiently waiting for that moment when I get to take your hand in mine.


You know Ab's how I love the walks we take along the railroad tracks hand in hand as the trains pass by, talking and dreaming about what the future holds. You know too, I love the walks we take with your hand in mine down by the river stopping every ten feet or so just to look at each other to make sure we are for real. How many times have we sat face to face holding hands and wishing we could some how freeze that moment in time? Yes, Ab's, there is nothing like holding your hand in mine. Your hands are tender but strong, small yet subtle too. I love holding your hands inside of mine, covering them, keeping them warm and protecting them the best I can.


So, this Christmas I am giving you the gift of me, as I do know that's what you love most. Sketched on this piece of paper is an outline of my hand for you. When we are apart and you feel the need for me, simply close your eyes and place your hand inside mine and imagine me being right there at your side holding you. That's what I do when I long for you; I picture you in the theatre of my soul. When you are scared and I am not there, hold my hand and let it remind you that as long as I am alive I will protect you. When you feel alone take my hand and know, I am always close by. Remember, that's not just any old hand you are holding, that hand is my hand, and it is there for you. I will catch you when you fall, I'll give you strength when you need it most, and just when you think you can't go on, I'll lift you up. Yes, Ab's, all that I am and all that I have belong to you. Merry Christmas! Love, NOAH."


As Abby wiped the tears from her eyes remembering the love she and Noah shared for all those years she realized though Noah had gone home to be with Jesus earlier that year, he was still very much with her and this old Christmas gift was just the thing she needed to do exactly what Noah had promised it would. It caught her as she was feeling weak and falling, it brought her strength when she felt like she had none and it reminded her that even though they were apart they were always together because Noah was always with her in the deepest place of her heart. 


What made this gift even more special was the next Christmas when Abby gave it back to Noah with her own hand traced inside of his, the one she now was holding in her hands. Noah had kept that piece of paper with he and Abby's hands traced on it in his desk and pulled it out so often to draw strength from Abby that the paper was well worn. They often talked about each other's hands and the strength they drew from one another and Abby knew now she needed strength she didn't possess in herself to go on without Noah and the Lord used that piece of paper and those words from the one her soul loves to point her to the One whose nail pierced hands were reaching out to her. 


As Abby sat she was reminded of why the Lord Jesus Christ was born into the world that first Christmas. He had come so that mankind could "behold" Him. To think, God came all the way from heaven to earth to take us all by the hand as it were and to lead us home, home to be together, with the Lord and one another, forever! Just as Abby had been safe with Noah all those years she was reminded afresh this Christmas that she was safe with Jesus too. If she thought Noah had strong hands they would not compare to the Lord's hands. Though nail scared, God's hands are strong. We can always find strength and comfort safety and courage by placing our hands in His she thought to herself as she looked up and smiled and said thank you Jesus, and thank you to Noah, I love you!


I LOVE YOU!

"Someone To Sing About"
"The Gentle Push of God"
 

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Wednesday, 23 January 2019