Gift

Basically, everyone is always living in a vague and more or less conscious hope of someday receiving something for which he had never dared ask…” – Paul Tournier

But, nevertheless, every year, I’m plagued with people asking me for a Christmas list. My dad said he wanted it “written in hieroglyphs, delivered by elephant via the Himalayas.” I hope this will do, given that I just ran out of papyrus. =P

So without further ado, here is the list:

    Brightly colored and patterned, ideally cotton, crewcut socks. The type normal people can find at target.

    The Supper of the Lamb, by Robert Capon.

    Gift Certificates to The Hub Bike Co-op , so I can trick out and/or winterize my bike. (My nearest location is the The Hub @ The U of M Bike Center, on Oak St.) I also could use a front light for my bike, since mine got smashed when I got hit by the taxi.

    I also think it would be really sweet to have something like a flatbed bike trailer.

    Section 4R0112 of the 4 Week beginning pottery class at Fired Up Studios. Ralph is a coworker of mine, who also does ceramics.

    Relatedly, this pot.

    As you all probably know, I’m not a girl who does purses. But I was just at this craft fair, and this purse caught my attention. Do like.

    The song “23” by project 86. As far as I can tell, the only way to get this song is by buying the Drawing Black Lines Album over again.

    The album “Project 86” by, you got it, Project 86. Ideally in physical form.

    GIR apparel, such as this Hoodie, or this belt

    Blood will tell” by Craig Paulenich. It contains a poem called “A State Of Industrial Grace.” That would be cool to have.

Now, for those of you familiar with Gary Chapman’s love languages, I will just come out and say that Gifts is one of my top two love languages. So hint: I like presents. But it’s not just because I like things, but because such things symbolize how the other person cares for you. They spent time thinking of you when they picked it out, they thought of how it would please you, and so on. And just like the above quote suggests, the real gifts that grab us are the ones “for which [we] never dared ask”. (I think Ghost wins the prize on doing that recently, by the way.)

So, as Paul Tournier would say, “the concept of a greater happiness to come, mysterious and yet real and complete, stands out beyond all this race after incomplete and partial gifts…if every gift is a symbol of love, no matter how small the gift, then surely there must be a love, total and supreme, one that doesn’t fail. This is what men intuitively await…”

And so we wait.

This time of waiting before Christmas is called Advent. It is a time to anticipate the coming of the Messiah, the Anointed One of God. In Jewish tradition, the Messiah would restore the people to their land, and to their God, redeeming them from mortal hindrances such as sickness and death (Isiah 25:8).

For, in the face of death, what good will socks, or a warm hoodie, or music, or any other material gift do me? “It is then, as we face death that all this world’s gifts are but deceit,” (Tournier) and such things are revealed to be “all vanity, and chasing after the wind” (Ecclesiastes 2:26).

And yet. We intuitively wait for just that one perfect gift. The one that would restore us. We await our Messiah, do we not? The very One who would give to us a restored relationship with God, the gift we can hardly dream of. Behold, at Christmas, we remember that this Great Gift has indeed come, in the form of Christ Himself. He is the one we have been waiting for. Let us anticipate again His coming, and pour out our thanksgiving for the mysterious babe, who is God made Flesh, lying in the manger.

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