I think ‘give’ is one of the most powerful words in the English language. All the self-help books I’ve been reading say, “If you’re depressed, give. If you’re selfish, give. If you’re prideful, give. If you’re empty, give.” God gave us His most precious gift, His Son, which I think is a good reminder of the power of a gift.
The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola says just this: “…any gift is beautiful because it is given. Whatever you give, the Baby Jesus will love, because it comes from you.” This was sage advice an old woman was giving to a young girl who was sad because she didn’t have a gift for Jesus on Christmas Eve. So the young girl picked weeds, which turned into the poinsettia plant after she prayed.
For those of you not familiar with kids books, Tomie dePaola is a classic in the field. He wrote and illustrated Strega Nona amongst many other tales. He also writes and illustrates a lot of stories with Biblical themes such as this one and on the Saints.
The message is powerful. It’s a great reminder of why we are here: for others and not ourselves and when we give, we get a glimpse of Heaven. This is something I constantly need to be reminded of because for me this does not come naturally. I’m constantly fighting my selfish tendencies and I’m hoping by reading all of these books my kids won’t be quite so much like me.