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A Gift That Multiplied

As I reflect on the Christmas season now receding in the rearview mirror, there are a handful of mental snapshots I am savoring. The candlelight carols at the Christmas Eve service is certainly one of them. An unexpectedly deep and rich conversation with a cousin at the Danish Christmas Eve gathering was another. But the best one was the result of a gift that had more potency than anyone could have anticipated, even the giver.

The gift was a handmade book that our son Justin made for Kristin. He was inspired, perhaps by the Red Book that Bilbo Baggins used to record his history of the Shire, to make several leather-bound journals. As in so many DIY projects these days, YouTube was the primary teacher, and it was a painstaking process that involved dozens of steps over many days to complete. Although I admit I may be partial to the craftsman, the result was truly a work of art. The book is gorgeous to look at, meticulous in construction and made of top-quality materials.

These qualities alone were enough to make it one of the most special gifts I’ve seen in a while. But it was the content he added that really multiplied the blessing. Justin decided he wanted to write a meaningful Scripture reference at the top of each page and reached out to a whole group of Kristin’s friends and relatives to get their suggestions. Some of these shared it with others and in the end several dozen contributed to the effort. He and his sister then handwrote the nearly 200 references along with the names of the people who offered them, as well as an opening blessing from him on the first page.

The gift was an overwhelming blessing to his mother, and the tears flowed freely, amplified by the health challenges she has been facing recently. Each Scripture came like timely help from God and a friend. But I was delighted to hear how much the project was also blessing the people who participated. Many saw the full list once it was compiled and found their own hearts encouraged as they began reading through the verses.

This special gift had blessing that multiplied, reminiscent of Jesus multiplying the loaves and fish to feed the multitude. I believe this handmade book was particularly helpful because it was inspired and blessed by the very same Lord. He is the Blessed One, the source of all true blessing.

Pastor Toby

Categories: Evergreen Connection