No, really. I did. But it was sanctioned stealing. The legitimate kind. My pastor was present and everything.
I was at a Christmas party and we played the gift game where everyone draws a number.
Early in the game I eyed a beautiful, sand colored, wrought iron cross. I’ve been looking for such a cross to hang in my bedroom for several months now. But every cross I’ve seen has either been too dark or too expensive. This one was just perfect.
So I stole it. Since I was the second to steal it, the cross became frozen and I didn’t have to try and hide it from my friends with higher numbers. A lot of people were eyeing it, so I consider myself blessed to go home with it.
The interesting thing about it was the rules stated that nobody was allowed to buy something new to bring to the party. We all had to bring a gift we no longer had a use for that somebody else would like to receive.
My treasure was somebody else’s clutter. While I had the perfect spot for the cross, somebody else at that party no longer had a place for it. As far as I was concerned, this gift was worth far more than the typical Starbucks card or candle I would have won if we’d been playing with new items.
Driving home I started thinking about the concept of what happens when we give what we can. Many times we overlook opportunities to give and bless others because we don’t realize we’ve already been equipped with the very thing they need.
A few weeks ago I was having a pity party about the fact I didn’t sign any new book contracts this year. Despite my best efforts, nothing materialized. As I complained to the Lord about not being able to share my gift of words with people this year I sensed Him speak to me.
Give what you already have.
What I already had was too many copies of God Called a Girl sitting in a box in my garage. Somewhere along the line, I wound up with far more copies of that book than any of my other titles.
So, I took a box full to the weekly Bible study I teach and gave a copy to each woman as my Christmas gift to her. At first I felt a little silly about it because it’s a teen girl book and I teach grown women.
But I decided to give what I had. I was surprised as women came up to me in excitement that night asking if I would sign copies for their daughters, granddaughters, nieces and babysitters.
So many of them exclaimed, “This is the perfect gift I’ve been searching for!”
They felt much like I did driving home from the Christmas party Sunday night: blessed because somebody else gave what she had.
This Christmas you might not be able to give as much as you’d like to. Some of your gifts might be creative or homemade. You may even find yourself avoiding certain people just so you won’t have to exchange gifts with one more person you can’t afford to buy for.
May I suggest an alternative to the stress and strain that comes with overspending or under-giving this Christmas season? Give what you have.
Your time might be just what somebody else needs this year. Or you might possess a skill that would really bless somebody else. Like me (and the former owner of the wall cross) you might even have something laying around your house that you no longer have a use for that would be a real treasure to one of your friends.
No gift is too small if it comes from the heart. Give what you can this Christmas.
To somebody it might mean more than you could dare to think.