Dear God, you have given me a strange gift. It is not a one-off gift. It is not like a shoe or a book where it could be worn or read and then discarded and shelved aside. It is not a complementary gift like an ornament or a decoration or something that you hang on the wall and soon forgotten. Neither is it a gift that can be eaten or spent nor saved and used up at a later date. And that's all swell with me. No God, you have given me a gift that challenges me to my core. It is a gift that demands that I change myself whether I like it or not. And it is non-refundable, non-negotiable.
It is no doubt a gift that I wanted more than anything in this world but it is also a gift that goes beyond my heart's desire. This gift dares me to open it up and in return, it is a gift that opens me up even more. This gift invites me to share in her joy and happiness, and yet it also leads me to confront my own insecurities and flaws. This gift is definitely transforming and it is stubbornly demanding about it. I am therefore often stretched beyond what I thought I could ever be stretched as I am transformed by it.
Dear God, sometimes I question your intention for giving me this gift. It is hands-down the most beautiful gift I will ever receive from you but it is also a gift that will not stop at one. There is more than meets the eye with this gift. It is a gift that simply multiplies. And multiply it will because where two are snugly gathered, there they will be in their midst.
It is without a doubt a growing gift that thrives in addition rather than in stagnation. And when they come, the blessing inherent in the gift turns just that tad more complicated and mind-numbing. The initial gift is now more than just a gift from one to the other but it is a gift of many and given to all regardless. It is a lifetime's gift that blooms into a family. Now that is surely a game-changer for me and I will have to keep up with them – all three of them.
Dear God, this strange gift reminds me of what a great physicist once said, "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." I guess ultimately this gift is not about the numbers but about the sacred bond and intimacy. It is about the shared purpose that makes this gift special and enduring.
And 15 years ago, you handed me this gift and it has grown ever since. The beautiful gift is now 4 and I am sure no more. Our shared lives have humbled me deeply and it has made me a better me. A "me" I can be proud of. I can now see thy wisdom in thy gift. I can now see why you have blessed our union 15 years ago. And this quote describes it best (Anne Lamott), "A good marriage was one in which each person thought he or she was getting the better deal." Or in this case, the better gift. Amen.