"Love and prayers" -I must have read that over 300 times growing up. Handwriting that never changed over 40 years said the same message, "Love and Prayers." It was the way my Grandma Mid signed every card ever sent. A sweet and simple message that carried with it a gift that can never be measured in its importance, comfort, and most of all, power.
What a gift. To have her on your side was a good thing because she brought with her a slew of others, all little gray-haired ladies of our church, you know the ones, they've looked old your whole life, but have never seemed to age. But never ever underestimate the power of gray hair and prayer. They don't know the meaning of "quit," "do it later" and "lost cause." I am so grateful they didn't know those things. It made all the difference.
In this time of year we focus on giving and let our minds dreams of receiving that incredible unexpected gift. We hope for miracles and remember the magic and glory of past Christmases. I would like to offer you a gift suggestion. Love and prayers. Giving it takes just a bit of time, some patience, listening without lecturing and confidence that it will be done. Not expecting and demanding only one result, but allowing it to simply happen. The thing is when you give this gift get ready to receive a gift as well. The receiving comes at a much different time and manner we can ever predict and should never try to guess its impact on us.
Recently I learned this lesson from those simple words. A strange virus in this world decided to attack my heart. And the love and prayers started. Family, old friends and strangers, that became new friends, continually entered our lives and made all the difference during these times. We were astounded at the cards and notifications of being added to prayer lists, prayer chains, and prayer circles. Every time when things became dark and we felt trapped by this illness, a door would open and answers poured from it, help was provided, gifts arrived just as they were needed, kind acts brought tears to our eyes, and a conversation with other patients showed just how small our problem was compared to theirs. It was then we gave the same simple gift to them.
It's easy to re-gift love and prayers. People actually like it.
For those looking for that perfect gift, here it is: love and prayers. Fits all sizes, fun for the family, even great for those on the naughty list, it truly is the best gift of all.
After all, it was the first Christmas gift ever given.