As Easter approaches
It’s Easter week and I am reminded of the profound gift that is mine from my Heavenly Father. This gift is given to me forever, and shows the generosity and incomprehensible love that has forever and always pierced and lifted my heart. The gift of Jesus, to me.
There are many ways for us to give. For us to reflect the Father’s heart.
Let me tell you a story….
It was Christmas, 2013, and I received a gift from my son and daughter in law which made me cry, not out of sadness but a realisation that a tender and observant heart can bring blessing and honour to a mother, as hands are extended in love and generosity. These two dear ones had spent the last months bringing an old toy back to life and restoring its former glory, just to bring me joy. And it was presented to me with loving hearts and hands.
I share with you today an excerpt from my book “Dancing With My Daddy” so that you will understand the context, and then this gift.
“With dappled grey, hardwood body and long, flowing mane, he stood in the corner of my room, upstairs in the little council house which was identical to rows of others in a neat English street. Ready to entertain me at a moment’s notice, this most beautiful of rocking horses was a hand-me-down, but nonetheless, my pride and joy.
Dark red reins draped his head, and he held a wry smile – as rocking horses do. His saddle was ever ready to take me to a new adventure.
Though painted on, his beautiful eyes beckoned me with a life-like wink. Just a shake of his luxurious rope mane, and I believed in his whispering tales of new lands to conquer, new pastures to visit, long and rolling meadows to gallop together, with all my heart.
For many years I was too small to climb up on his saddle without help, but later as I grew I would spend time just rocking to and fro, thinking and dreaming little girl dreams. I was just the two of us, in or own special world. Coloured and faraway lands called me forth to play. Lands of castles, princesses and high towers, trusty steeds that sped through thickly wooded forests and spirited me away from lurking goblins and the like; terrors of the forest and true heroes lived in this magical world.
And as we travelled through verdant glens and valleys, passing by imaginary friends, and stopping in for tea parties at lavish estates with kings and queens, we would experience the adventures that only a child’s mind can comprehend. He and I were one.”
The story goes on to say that my Dad eventually gave away my rocking horse, and of course, with it went memories and childhood stories that could live only in my mind. But little did I know, Dad had reflected the heart of the Father in Heaven as he gave the rocking horse to a poor family, to a little immigrant girl who had very few toys, and small joy in her life.
“What does it take to reflect God’s heart? Generosity, care for others, and a vision to bless a neighbour.”
What came next in the story, though, is what shows the generosity of one for another.The reward that comes to the generous.
My Easter Sunday was forever marked in my mind that year, as I ran home from celebrating the festival at church, and, wanting to open my usual one Easter egg, I was astounded as I opened the door and there, on the kitchen table…the biggest surprise gift from….the little girl’s family who had been given my rocking horse!
Yes…generosity begets generosity. The Father’s love and His immeasurable gift to us is evidence that we are able to have hearts of love and consideration towards others…to love because He loved.
To give because He gave.
Here’s the prayer at the end of the chapter which may help you today: “Often I hug the hurts of the life life so very close that I can’t see the lesson that you have in them for me. Help me to look up, to look around, and to see what it is in each season of life that you want to teach me. Help me to understand that a generous heart is straight from you…..”
As you and I celebrate Easter this coming weekend, let’s never forget the value and the impact on humanity that God’s greatest gift to us has brought us. The gift that will never fail us. The Son of God in our hearts for ever…if we will just believe.
And in the meantime, our everyday lives can be released to reflect the Father’s generosity…if we will but ask Him to give us opportunities…every day.
“Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely. He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor”