Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than receive.
Acts 20:35
I walked out my door for lunch with a dear friend empty handed. Not even a dozen of our girls’ fresh eggs, a garlic bulb, or jar of strawberry jam. Melanie would’ve opened wide her eyes to any or all of the above, but I hadn’t planned ahead. And it gnawed on me as I drove to Metamora’s White Horse Inn.
Melanie sat in our usual spot for our annual reunion. “I’ve cleared my afternoon schedule, so no rush,” she said.
“Good. Me too.”
There’s no better gift than a girlfriend’s time.
“I sowed half of my vegetable garden in wildflowers,” Melanie began. “It was beautiful and a lot less work, although we missed the food.”
I nodded. “Mel and I have talked about laying the vegetable garden fallow next summer, or reducing it, but I don’t know how I can cook without my own vegetables. He can live without squash, but there’s nothing like butternut soup come winter.”
After the waitress cleared our dishes, Melanie reached a little bag to me and triggered that gnawing feeling. “A little something from my gardens.”
“Melanie, after all the time I’ve had to prepare you a gift, I didn’t bring you anything, and I feel awful.”
“Please don’t.” She smiled and waited with anticipation.
I found a box under crumpled tissue paper and recalled the beautiful greeting cards Melanie had gifted me a year ago, created from photos of the African safari she and her husband had toured.
The most remarkable little creature peered at me through the clear plastic lid. I’ve seen enough nested baby robins on our place to know one when I see it. But never had I beheld such a close-up that sharp and detailed. The little gold beak looked like it was smiling, and its black eyelids like sunglasses on a spiked, downy head.
“Every spring, mother robins lay eggs in the wreath I keep on our front door window. Usually the babies fly away before I have a chance to take a photo. But this time, the baby turned its beak and posed when I shot the picture,” my friend said.
Then, as wild birds do, the next morning all the babies had flown away.
“I couldn’t believe the perfect timing,” Melanie said in awe. “If I hadn’t had my camera focused and my finger on the shutter button, I would’ve missed that sweet little face.”
“This will make an ideal Thanksgiving Day card for my daughter and her family in California,” I said. “Perfect timing, again.”
“There are more pictures in the box,” Melanie said.
A luxurious golden moth, and gladiolus, Stargazer Lily, and wildflowers in bloom.
Dear Reader, they’re all gifts to be given away upon some special occasion, perhaps words of cheer for what ails us, or a turn of thanks, in my case.
It is more blessed to give than receive.
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