Unwrap the Gift of Love
April 18, 2022
From Pastor Joe Wamack
“People-people who need people-are the luckiest people in the world.” Do you know who sang that? Do you think it is true? Relationships are very important, but do you make the time to connect with those you love? Do you work to deepen the relationships you have?
Florence was an older woman who recently passed away. Soon after her death, her husband called his daughter-in-law Kathy and said, “I was going through some of her things in the attic and I found a box of old dishes. I was going to get rid of them, but I noticed they are blue-your favorite color. Why don’t you look and if you want, you can have them. If not, I will give them to the Salvation Army.”
Kathy looked at the dishes expecting to find run of the mill dinnerware. Instead, when she opened the box, she found some of the most exquisite china she’d ever seen. Each plate was hand painted. The cups were inlaid mother of pearl. The dishes and the cups were rimmed with gold. The plates had been handcrafted in a Bavarian factory destroyed during World War II, so they were literally irreplaceable.
Kathy had been in the family for twenty years and had never seen this china. She asked her husband, John if had ever seen them and he said no.
She learned the story from other family members. When Florence was a young girl, she was given this china over a period of years. Her family was not wealthy and the china was quite valuable, so she would receive one piece at a time for gifts-confirmation, graduation, Christmas or birthdays. She eventually owned a complete table setting for four of this beautiful hand painted china.
Whenever young Florence received a piece of china-because it was valuable, because if it was used it might get broken-she would wrap it very carefully in tissue, put it in a box and store it in the attic, waiting for a very special occasion to bring it out. However, no occasion that special ever came along. Ever. Never. Not once. So Florence went to her grave with the greatest gifts of her life unopened and unused.
When the daughter in law Kathy heard this story and saw these dishes had never been used, she decided to use them every chance she could. Now her family uses them all the time-the kids eat pizza on them; they are used during the week as well as special occasions. The dishes have finally made it out of the box. Good for Kathy!
This is a tragic story. Not criticizing the sweet woman who died-she was saving something she thought was valuable for “just the right special occasion.” But for her-that day never came. Relationships and moments are not eternal-they are snapshots in time. Tell the people you love, you love them NOW. Tomorrow may not ever come. Take “the dishes” out of the box. Unwrap the gift of LOVE.
Jesus said: "Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other." (John 13:34-35)