Christmas Package Embrace

8 Dec

“Can you meet us at the German Bakery?”

It was Peggy on the phone and my first response would have been, “But I thought you were in the USA.” Before I could process the incredulity of hearing her voice she chipped in with an explanatory note, “We have brought you a gift package back from your family in the states.”

When it is Christmas season and you are 8000 miles from home, those words are filled with magic. I agreed to the rendezvous and my imagination instantly conjured up images of what children and grandchildren might be doing at this time of year…decorating Christmas trees, making home-made candy and cookies, carol singing at Christmas programs in church, and gift wrapping.

Peggy met me on the patio. Gary was busy taking advantage of free Wi-Fi with a computer download when we walked into the confectionary and sat down. I ordered a small macchiato. Chatting has always been easy with them as they shared news from home and how the special surprise had come into their custody. They had only a half hour before their next meeting and the time went by too quickly. Christmas greetings exchanged, agreements to meet in Ziway, and I was off with the Christmas package.

Once home we decided we could not wait and so we discarded the tissue covering and carefully examined each precious item. Gold, frankincense, and myrrh…no… but just as priceless. Photos, colored pictures, hand-made Christmas cards, chocolate candy and chocolate chips, a book, a documentary, and a plastic baggie full of transformers, matchbox cars, and some plastic sunglasses. Smiles transformed into chuckles and chuckles transformed into lumps in the throat accompanied with very fast eye blinking. No luck, just wipe them away before they run down your neck. How do you put into words hearts filled with love attended by arms aching for a hug?

The word is embrace. It is a lingering connection where something unites beyond the physical contact. It is the melding of love, contentment, hope, peace, and joy. It is sharing and giving with no expectation or demand for return. We were embraced by the gift and we embraced the givers. I think our Heavenly Father felt it also when He looked down upon a manger long ago. He offered mankind the gift of His embrace. He would have gathered us into His arms, but we were separate by sin rather than miles. He was sharing His path to peace and hope and joy and contentment. We could be united beyond physical contact through a connection in the Spirit.

His Christmas package embrace would later say with tears running down His cheeks, “How often would I have gathered you into my embrace…even a hen gathers her chicks under her wings.” A few days later He spread His arms on a cross aching for a hug…and a heart filled with love…enough for the gift of eternal life. Sharing hope with hearts and blessings of love at Christmas.

4 Responses to “Christmas Package Embrace”

  1. onlybygrace3 December 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    I can’t tell you how many times I have rethought the gifts we, the Phillip Stoller family, gave. The “if onlys” and “I should haves” sent in. I think all of us are going to try to have more things on hand so if there is an unexpected blessing of being able to have something hand delivered to you on short notice, we will be ready. Thank you to the Ifts for this gift!

  2. Jan Schwartz December 8, 2012 at 11:30 pm #

    Wow this post made me really emotional!! So thankful you could get such a blessing from home!

  3. Debbie Dinkleman December 10, 2012 at 5:37 am #

    Thank you for this beautiful story and the Christmas message…..I look forward to sharing it with the rest of my family! God bless you during this Holy season!

  4. Vanessa December 10, 2012 at 6:14 am #

    When I heard the Ifts were in town, I felt a sudden urgency to find them and hug them…thinking “Those are the same arms that might hug dad and mom…one step closer to actually being able to physically hug them!” Alas, my path never crossed with the Ifts while they were here. But so glad that they were able to take a little part of “home” to you. Love you lots!

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