It’s just a few days away from the celebration of our Savior’s birth and as I pray to our heavenly Father on what words She would like for me to share with the flock this week, it is a single word that comes to me most clearly. “Love”. So in order to help bring this inspired word’s message into fruition for you all, I draw upon a personal experience that occurred just last week.
Like many mother-daughter relationships can be and when I was younger, and in my teenage years in particular, my Mom and I had a difficult relationship. I think that through no fault of our own we were either too different or too alike. Like oil and water we just didn’t mix. Hurtful things were said on both sides and so when I was old enough to do so, I moved away and set out to build a life of my own away from the source of pain I had experienced so far. Since that time I have lived many miles away from my parents and over the past 20 years the visits home have been few and far between. Letters, phone calls and emails have also been less than I’m sure we would have liked but it has just seems that the living of daily lives for all of us has gotten in the way.
Each year my parents send me a Christmas box and I received this box last week. It’s always a joy to receive because it brings back many memories of past happy family Christmases with my parents and siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins, but this year it was most special because of the sentiment and thought involved...so much so that it brought tears to my eyes and still does, even as I type out these words.
As I opened the carefully packaged box to reveal the wrapped gifts inside, I found a note attached to each one. These notes were short stories telling me of somewhere they had been, what they had done and seen and that they’d picked up this particular item because they'd thought of me. Each gift couldn’t have been more perfect, but truly it was the handwritten notes that so touched my heart, right to the very core.
As I read the notes it began to sink in that these weren’t gifts that were hastily purchased out of obligation. These were thoughts of love that transcended the miles that separated us. And these notes, were proof positive that regardless of events in the past, I’m not just a fleeting thought at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and my Birthday, I’m her daughter who is thought of often and loved...really loved and that regardless of the past the love has never gone away as I thought that it had.
In a matter of moments, the wound that had resided in my heart for so many years ago and that had been festering for so long beneath a hastily placed bandage with the hopes of being forgotten was healed through the power of Yahweh’s love wrapped up in a box and contained in several small notes written by my mother’s hand.
I think perhaps that many of us keep our love for one another under lock and key, share it only sparingly because we might be unsure and afraid to take the risk being rejected or feeling the pain that a loss of love can cause. Many of us might even question unconditional love, not only due to the relationships we have with our parents, but also having experienced so many relationships in our own lives over the years which cause us to realize more and more how fickle people can be and how one could be loved greatly for a while, years even, but then one day the love stopped through no fault of our own and you never knew when it might happen again.
I’ve been so very blessed, we all are really, because if given the opportunity Yahweh will fill any holes in our hearts that might be there and not only that but She repairs what is broken. I see this “Box of Love” as Father’s work, again, assuring me that I am loved not only by my earthly mother, but by my heavenly Mother as well.
I truly believe that any time anyone is inspired within their heart to show love, that it is our Creator that is behind that inspiration, being a God of love Herself, and that the love stems from Her and like a tree, branches throughout Her creation. And this Christmas, She knew what gift I needed to receive most of all. A gift of love. And it came wrapped up in a box and traveled many miles to find me, but it did and it was the best gift I could have ever received past, present or future.
It all makes me think of the great gift that Father gave to us in the form of Her beloved Son Christ Jesus, who became our Savior. The one gift Her creation needed so badly and that would make our hearts whole and healthy once again. Christ Jesus was Yahweh’s love personified but Yahweh is waiting to share another gift with you as well - the gift of Her love via Her Holy Spirit.
You might be thinking that it’s too late, or that you’re not worthy of this love, or that you’re just unlovable or your sins are too great, but you’d be wrong. If only you turn to Her and regardless of the relationship you might have had with Her in the past, or lack of, She is there for you and She loves you and She is waiting with outstretched arms to forgive you and fill your heart with the gift of Her love.
And not only is Her love constant, but She is always and constantly with you. There are no miles to travel or keep you away from Her because She is only a thought and a prayer away. She is both Father and Mother to all of Her creation and knows exactly what it is that we might be lacking - and how to fix it, repair it, and make it whole. So whether you call Her God, Yahweh, LORD, Mother or Father...She is waiting...so if you accept any gift this Christmas season, and if you haven’t done so already, accept Her son as your Lord and Savior and also accept Yahweh’s love and let it be returned in full and with a whole heart and in the name of Her son Christ Jesus, Amen.