The Gift

My wife’s parents were in town over the weekend to take in a Talent Show, a jewelry open house fundraiser, and a piano recital.  Since it was so close to Isaac’s birthday, they also took time to celebrate with a couple of gifts.  One of the gifts in particular had a big impact on my son, and it reminded me of another gift experience from my past.

For those of you who don’t know, Isaac is a gifted piano player.  He loves to hear a song and to spend a little time at the piano working it out.  He’s a quick learner, and he has an amazing ear.  Isaac did a great job at his piano recital this weekend where he played Sonatina in A Minor (I forget the composer).  Leanne’s dad is a piano tuner.  Isaac has watched Pap-pap tune a few pianos in the past, and I think he’s helped out on a few of them as well.

Can you see where I’m going with this?

Isaac received a piano tuning kit for his birthday.  When Isaac unwrapped the present, his eyes lit up.  There was a silence in the kitchen.  It was almost a holy moment.  Isaac was so excited to receive this gift.  I think he realized that he could make some serious coin my learning his Pap-pap’s skill, but I also think he realized that this was a very special gift.  Along with the tuning kit, Isaac received a step by step manual on how to tune pianos.  This manual was written by Pap-pap (and typed out by Grammy).  What a special gift!

This experience reminded me of another experience from my younger days.

My dad is a pastor.  Growing up, he used to wear a robe almost every Sunday at the Presbyterian Church we went to for most of my growing up years.  Every Christmas and Easter, the senior pastor wore his academic hood along with the standard robe and stole.  My dad had his master’s degree, but he didn’t have an academic hood to go with it.  One year for Christmas, I can remember my dad receiving a special present from my grandparents.  Neither my brother or I knew what it was at first.  In fact, one of us asked why Dad received hockey shorts for Christmas.  Meanwhile, my dad was in tears.  This gift meant so much to him.  It was one of the “holy” moments in our house.

This past Easter, I got to see Dad wearing his academic hood as he led the services at a church in Duncanville, TX.

Moments like this can be “holy” in that they have meaning that goes beyond description.  They demonstrate sacrifice and thoughtfulness.  I definitely been on the receiving end of these types of gifts in the past.  I want to be on the giving end.  So  often, we go through the motions when it comes to giving gifts.  We think of the “easiest” or “most needed” item.  The month of May is a busy gift giving time for our family with several birthdays and Mother’s Day.  I want our gift giving to be thoughtful and sacrificial.  How about you?

How do you typically approach gifts?  Have you ever experienced a “holy” moment related to a gift given or received?