I’d asked for a tape recorder.
I’d begged and pleaded and cajoled. When a girl turns ten, she knows what she wants. Double digits requires a special gift.
I wanted to document my life on audio. I imagined myself singing into the microphone and playing back the melody for all to hear. I could make secret recordings and capture magical moments.
Yes, I dreamed of audio Nirvana.
My Abuelo understood my need. I mean, I’d explained my desires to him in great detail every day for the last several weeks. We’d sit on the love seat in the family room, and he would ask me questions.
“Mija, for your birthday, you want a Barbie doll, right?”
“No, Abuelo! I want a tape recorder. Remember? I showed you the picture.”
“Oh, no, I forgot. Are you sure? How about that Monopoly game? You love that game, and I’d play with you.”
“Abuelito, plllleeeaassee don’t tease me. You know what I want.”
On the day of my birthday, I was looking through my bedroom window to the front driveway. I saw my Abuelos get out of their vehicle with a beautifully wrapped present in hand. Abuelo was also carrying a brown paper bag behind his back.
I ran to meet them in the hallway.
¡Feliz Cumpleaños! he declared as he handed me the elegant gift.
“Gracias.” My greedy little hands tore away paper and ribbon.
My face fell flat when I opened up the box and discovered two bobble-head kissing dolls. Surely, this was a cruel joke.
What’s in the paper bag behind your back? I inquisitively asked.
He smiled as he handed me the plain bag that contained my treasure.
I turned 48 this year, and of all the birthday presents I’ve received from my Abuelos, those bobble-head dolls are the most memorable. They sat on my dresser with metallic lips intimately connected for years. I have no idea what happened to the tape recorder. I probably broke it before I turned eleven.
But those dolls remained. I dropped them on the floor several times, and they cracked and chipped and got glued back together.
Those bobble-head dolls reminded me that I was loved.
I learned to appreciate gifts that came beautifully wrapped at just the right time, but I also discovered that brown paper bags are worth the wait.
Love always gives good gifts.
Tonight, I remembered my tape recorder as I read a somewhat confusing story in the Gospels. Why does the Lord wait? Why does He test us? Why does He allow us to grow desperately needy?
Waiting grows our appreciation for the gift and our adoration for the Gift giver.
His most memorable presents are always wrapped in mercy and love.
Lord, let me see Your great mercy full-face.
Let’s Talk: How has God grown your appreciation and adoration as you wait for His good gifts?
This year, my desire is to lift up holy hands and “Pray Big.” Want to join me? I’ve created a private “Pray Big” Facebook group for like-minded sisters to share their stories and surrender each one to our mountain-moving God in prayer. Let’s cry out to God together.
I am sharing “Mercy and Love” and joining like-minded sisters at #write31days, The Weekend Brew, Spiritual Sundays, Faith-Filled Friday, and Live Free Thursday.
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