My mom loves to recount the story of a Sunday School lesson from when I was a preschooler at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stevens Point, WI. The brave parent (or child-loving member) who led the preschool room that morning brought a roll of curling ribbon -- the kind one might use to decorate a wrapped present. He or she cut off small segments and wrapped one around the wrist of each child with specific instructions of what to say when we were asked by our parents what it was.
My mom reports she didn’t even notice the ribbon until we were already home from church, and when she asked me, it looked for a minute like I was just as surprised by it as she was. The way my mom tells the story, she saw a memory flicker into place and my face light up before delivering the answer. I proudly held out my ribboned wrist and confidently told her, “I’m your gift from God.”
I wish I could tally all the times I’ve heard that story. I wish I could bottle all the times she has reminded me of this during moments of mother-daughter affection too overwhelming for any other words. I wish every child could hear those words and believe they were true.
We spend a lot of time reminding ourselves of the gifts God has given us, and that is time well spent. Imagine the run on curling ribbon if we were to put some on everything God has given us … imagine the technicolor world that would create! Let’s also remind ourselves that our very own talents, words, spirits, and presence – even with our shortcomings and struggles – are also gifts to one another. Let’s remember to save some ribbon for our own wrists.