Thursday, December 13, 2012

God’s Gifts by Dawn Smrekar

Whether growing up as a child in Georgia or being a young married Mom in South Carolina, whether sunny and 60 or sleeting with interstate closures, we have travelled.   More than 60 family members gather for lunch at my grandmother’s home each Christmas day.  Her life, every word, every action, every song was for Christ. For some, Christmas day being on Sunday is complicated… for her, it made the day perfect.  And last Christmas, I learned that God must have a perfect sense of humor when it comes to me. 

By December, the dementia had progressed to the point where she needed round-the-clock care.  While her five children prepared Christmas lunch, we took Grandmother to her small country church where attendance was usually 50 but only reached 25 on Christmas Day.  As we sat on one pew (my two children, husband, father, grandmother and myself), the minister announced that they had no pianist and to ask if anyone present could play.  Each of those seated on the pew leaned forward and, in unison, turned their heads to look at me.  It is an understatement to say that I don’t like to play piano in front of people.  It petrifies me.   Grandmother said, “Will you?”  I felt as if I were hearing God from this 93 year old lady.  I had to chuckle at God’s sense of humor and, though my hands trembled and I cringed with each missed note, I knew Grandmother was proud and happy.  She was at a stage of life where she had forgotten so much.  Why couldn’t she have forgotten such a simple thing as me being able to play the piano.  Who knew that God’s sense of humor, one of my most uncomfortable and embarrassing moments, would turn out to be a gift to me?  Just six months later, on June 30, Grandmother went home to God and I have no regrets.

When I look back at the time I was with her, I laugh and am filled with great joy and peace.  Each day, if I can do one thing to be more like my grandmother, I will be living a life for Christ and have a chance of seeing her again.  Perhaps we all see something in a grandparent that draws us closer to God. I wonder what Mary felt as she was nine months pregnant and was told that she had to travel to Bethlehem?  Did she think, “Really?  Me on a donkey?  How far?  Our son is the Messiah?”  Now I try to embrace those moments when God has a sense of humor and wait patiently.  One day, I might just see how He meant it for something good… something amazing… a gift!

Go this day and in this season and enjoy the complications and love the times when things go wrong.  Wait and listen (or laugh if you need to).  You wouldn’t want to miss the perfect gift God intends for you.

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