I was watching some reunion videos the other day. Those are the ones where the serviceman or servicewoman returns home after many months to surprise their families. One in particular widened my smile and moistened my eyes at the same time.
In it a five year old little girl was celebrating her birthday party. After blowing out the candles on her birthday cake it was time to open her presents. She seemed especially delighted when she opened up a box holding a new doll. Just then, however, her Dad walked out from behind a wall and tapped her on her shoulder. She looked up at him, screamed, dropped her doll, and jumped into his arms. Then she began to cry tears of pure joy while telling her Daddy how she loved him and how she had missed him. During all of this the doll lay forgotten on the floor. That wise little girl knew what her real gift was.
In this life we all need to realize that the real gift we give isn’t just reserved for birthdays.
The real gift we give every single day. The real gift we give is ourselves. The money we spend and the things we buy mean little in comparison. The real gift is in the love we share. The real gift is in the hugs we share. The real gift is in the smiles we spread. The real gift is in the time we spend. The real gift is in the very life we live.
Leo Buscaglia once said: “This life is God’s gift to you. How you live it is your gift to God.” May you make your real gift the best gift imaginable then. May you increase your wisdom, nurture your love, build up your kindness, and grow your joy. May you make yourself the best person you can possibly be. And may you give that glorious gift of yourself to others, and to God. If you do so you will have happiness. If you do so you will spread goodness. If you do so you will bring a whole lot of Heaven down here to Earth.
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 John 4:11-12)
Joseph J. Mazzella