“Mom, what’s something you’d like for Christmas,” he asked.
Luke had the day off from work and I got the impression he was headed out shopping.
“I don’t know,” I said. I’ve had a hard time coming up with a list this year. I have everything I need.”
“Well, is there something you’d just like?”
“I like so many things even that’s hard,” I said.
I could see that I needed to come up with something. Luke, while not a penny finder like his brother, is still very thoughtful.
I looked at him and spotted a candle burning on the kitchen counter between us along with an open cookbook.
“Candles are good,” I said. “Or maybe a cookbook—I don’t know.”
I could see some ideas were possibly forming in his head so I left him to figure it out.
Heading upstairs to my room I remembered I had a penny in my pocket that needed to find its way into my penny bowl. I took it out so it wouldn’t get mixed in with the coins in the change jar upstairs. You see the penny bowl is sacred but the jar money can be spent.
I didn’t want to backtrack so I set the penny on the table next to the stairs. At Christmas this spot is home to my Nativity scene—which is even more sacred than the penny bowl. If I lived in a tiny space and could only put one thing out it would be this.
Without thinking much about it I set the penny next to the Wise Men bearing gifts for the baby Jesus and went upstairs.
Sorting through the laundry Luke’s question popped back in my head. I wondered what he would come up with when I’d been so vague.
Armed with a load of laundry I headed back downstairs and the penny caught my eye. From that angle it looked like a gift for Jesus. It prompted me to ask Luke’s same question of God. What would you like for Christmas?
The Wise Men brought Jesus gold, incense, and myrrh when he was born—not copper. What is it I could give him today? He has everything He needs so what is it he would like? Where Luke wanted an idea from me I wanted one from God.
As I sat with the question my mind kept going back to that penny. Surely that’s not it I thought so I went back and looked at the coin and finally it hit me when the inscription jumped out at me. TRUST—that’s the best gift you can give Jesus. Trust lay at the heart of the Wise Men’s gifts and it’s the treasure Jesus would like from you today.
Looking at it from this perspective I was reminded that faith is not really that hard to find. It’s like a penny—most people have one and they know what it affords them. It’s a thing. Trust, however, is a verb. It’s something you do. Trust is our faith in action. It’s bold, confident, and certain of God’s promises in all circumstances. It’s also the one thing Jesus doesn’t have unless we give it to him.
I don’t know what gift Luke will have for me but I know what gift I want to keep at Jesus’ feet—my trust. It’s what he’s asked for and certainly what he deserves. The trick will be remembering not to just hand it to him at Christmas but every day in the year that lay ahead.
“You keep in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you.” Isaiah 26:3