The Unexpected Gift
A Gift is defined as something voluntarily transferred by one person to another without compensation…to bless, favor, bestow or endow.
Most of the time, gifts are given and even anticipated on our special occasions and celebrations. We look forward to beautiful wrappings and a loving sentiment, maybe something chocolate or favorite flowers. However, occasionally we receive an unexpected gift. Suddenly, with no warning, no fanfare..a gift arrives unannounced.
This unforeseen bestowal is usually not wrapped, at least with outward paper and bows. It almost never has a gift tag announcing the recipient, because these unexpected gifts come in unassuming packages tied with love and ensconced in undeserved grace. Sometimes they lie within the outer trappings of a thing called ‘duty’ or ‘guilt.” They hide in unattractive paper, a grimy hand or eyes crinkled with age.
In August 2014, my oldest daughter waited to receive results from her recent medical tests. I remember we sat in a small examination room as the doctor blurted out all manner of medical jargon and then abruptly announced, without flinching, the diagnosis of ‘cancer.’ We sat there for a long time after he left the room, our fear and sadness hung in the air like a dense veil, covering even the light. For six months, I watched her face frightening challenges. I sat beside her as ‘healing poisons’ traveled through her veins, and she never gave up. We cried together and talked together and reassured each other, even though we could vividly taste our horror and panic. But, as time went on, the gift arrived.
The gift surprised us with unexpected laughter at the most inappropriate times. It came wrapped in knowing glances and hands held tight; it bloomed within us as we grew closer and more accepting of each other. Our unexpected gift grew out of the fire and ashes, and we knew that no matter what, this gift of love and acceptance was meant for us.
Let there be no mistake….an unexpected gift is real and genuine and meant exactly for the one who is brave enough to open it. I have heard before that there is a ‘gift’ inside every hardship, every problem. There are unexpected gifts hidden in lessons to be learned and attitudes to be adjusted. There are gifts in forgiveness. Look closely, lest you overlook the unassuming blessing. Look closely among the thorns, for your rose may be just about to bloom.