I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Gift of Love

By Jennie Atkins


A little brown-haired boy wearing dust covered overalls skipped down the road. His dark eyes lit up with mischief as he waved at the two women sitting on the bench at the corner of the road.

Worn out flip flops stirred the dirt at his feet as he made his way, arms swinging at his sides, to his destination. Every day he passed the same spot, determination reflected in his expression as if he no time to waste.

Some days he'd be seen down at the pier with a row boat and his friends basking in the summer sunshine, catching a few fish. Others he'd tag along behind his father, dogging the older man's every step, intent on learning the family business.

But not today.

Today his destination would take him to the community center in town. There he'd play checkers with the old folks. He'd slap his knee like they did, listen to their stories from when they were young, and laugh at their jokes.

He was a good little boy—attended church with his parents, did his chores before going to bed, and never complained when corrected.

As he got older though, he changed. He'd go out with the people everyone else turned away, the outcasts in town. He grew his hair out, nearly down to his shoulders, looking very much like the ruffians he associated with. The gossipers called him a trouble maker—claimed he broke the laws. But no matter how much people talked about him, he didn't put them down, never retaliated, only smiled at them and waved.

Then one day that long haired boy was killed.

On a cross. On a hill called Golgotha, he gave up his life. For us.

He gave the ultimate gift of love.

There is no way we can measure the sacrifice that boy, Jesus, made because he loved us. He gave it all, so we could be forgiven.

Set free.

***

February is the month we associate with love. How appropriate that we ponder on God's undying love for us. I cannot take credit for the story line above, it's my version of a song I heard by Josh Turner called  The Way He was Raised. Josh did an awesome job at creating a “surprise ending” in the song. Listen to it twice, its best enjoyed the second time around.

18 comments:

  1. Jennie,
    You proved the power of story ...
    and it's all the more powerful when it's True.

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  2. The boy, the man, and the sacrifice. The gift of freedom. I didn't see that ending coming. Beautifully written, exquisitely captured.

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  3. Beautiful. And it gave me goosebumps. Wonderful storytelling.

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  4. So very, very beautiful. And like Lisa, gave me goosebumps. Such a good way to start my morning, Jennie.

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  5. Wow, you are a powerful writer and made me fully aware agaub of the importance of every well-placed perfectly-chosen detail. This totally grabbed me.

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  6. You had me from the first line, Jennie. Loved this, and it's making me ponder today. :O)

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  7. Wonderful retelling (even if you got it from a song)!

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  8. Beth,
    You are so right. Its a beautiful story--his love for us, his pain, and his sacrifice.

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  9. Donna,
    The first time I heard the song I stood in awe of how Josh Turner wrote the story. It was truly a surprise ending.

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  10. Lisa,
    Thank you,but I was only the messenger!

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  11. Pat,
    Thank you. I felt it was a good way to recognize Valentines Day, even if it were a day late.

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  12. Delores,
    I cheated - it was already written, but I love being the messenger!

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  13. Jeanne,
    May God bless your day!

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  14. Love, love, love this! I love the twist. I love how I could imagine Jesus as a child--and man--today. It makes it all so real. But it is real. Completely relevant today and tomorrow, and all the days of my life.

    I need to go listen to that song!

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  15. Lindsay,
    It is an awesome song! You'll love it.

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  16. Such a beautiful post, Jennie!!

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  17. How precious a reminder. Thank you so much Jenny for saying it just like that. A great reminder why you are a writer.

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  18. Sorry, I spelled your name like my sis-in-law.

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