Monday, September 26, 2011

Water to Wine & God's Everlasting Love

The Operation Christmas Child packing party is over and the post-packing-party letdown is a little like the day after Christmas itself. I'm surrounded by the messy aftermath of a jumbled storage container and trying to figure out the logistics of packing the leftover items into more boxes.

I slogged through the day at school and drove home dreading the chaos I'd see when I opened the door at home. Instead, when I walked through that door the first thing I saw was a beautiful bouquet of flowers. My husband knows better than to send me flowers. I'm a practical person who'd much rather have a pizza dinner than flowers.

So I pulled the card from the envelope and saw no name--only this note "May the beauty of the flowers be a reminder of God's everlasting love." Tears welled up because, yes, they are a reminder of God's love. They aren't practical but they are a balm to the soul.

They make me think of Jesus' first miracle--turning water into wine. The people at that party didn't need wine (whether it was alcoholic or not). They had perfectly good water to drink. Yet Jesus chose to bless them with something they didn't need--something unnecessary that would bring them pleasure and show His amazing love for them as well as His divine power to change the ordinary into the extraordinary.

That's really what our Operation Christmas Child boxes do, too. People sometimes ask me why I don't invest all this energy and passion into something like drilling wells or feeding the hungry. And I do contribute to Samaritan's Purse and other relief agencies who do those things.

Yet there's something about a treasured shoebox gift that brings love and hope, and those are just as necessary--maybe even more so--than food and water. When I saw my gift today--those flowers--I was filled with God's love and hope. I think I got a new glimpse of how those children feel when they see a gift packed by an unknown giver and realize, "someone was thinking of me."

I hope the bestower of my gorgeous bouquet is reading this. I hope you know how loved I feel today--by you and by God. I hope you know how much this symbol of God's everlasting love means in my life.

Because hope and love are what life is made of.

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