We were living in Redding, CA, I was thirteen, and Christmas was only a few days away. I walked down the hallway passed my dad’s home office. The door was slightly opened, and I saw my dad with his face buried in his hands. He was crying. I came in and asked him what was wrong. He admitted that he did not have enough money to buy my sister and me Christmas presents. Now I knew why there was nothing under the tree.
I remember so clearly no longer caring about a present. I cared only that my dad was convinced we loved him, that we knew he loved us even when we didn’t get something we wanted, and that he was a great dad.
During those days the grocery stores would place Blue Chip stamps in your shopping bags. You could put the stamps in books and exchange them for merchandise at your local Blue Chip Stamp Redemption Store. Most people left the stamps in the paper bags with no intention of redeeming them. The bags were folded and put away to be used as garbage bags with the stamps left discarded, inside.
With just a couple days left before Christmas, mom and dad went house-to-house asking if they could have the stamps left in the bags. People were very generous and we licked a lot of stamps. Mom and dad were so pleased to take my sister and me to the redemption store to select our gifts. I don’t remember what Pam chose, but I had just enough stamps for an inexpensive tennis racquet!
That racquet had such great value to me. Never, ever did I think I deserved it because I saw the price that had to be paid in order for me to have it. That racquet represented how much I was loved! What if there hadn’t been Blue Chip stamps and no gift that Christmas. Would I have thought dad didn’t love me and didn’t care about me? NO!
Do you believe that God is good and that He loves you even when you don’t get what you want?
A true story that taught me that love is measured in ways much greater than gifts.