I was joking when I said anyone who wanted to, could buy me that stunning print for Christmas. I’d clicked through an email to an Etsy shop and instantly fell head over heels for a painting by an artist I’d never heard of. Feeling particularly silly that afternoon, I shared the image on Facebook along with the note about wanting to own this beauty for myself.
A within a week, I received an unexpected package from Canada. I know approximately three people in Canada, and while I’ve enjoyed the gift of chatting with Ann at conferences, I was certain this wasn’t a gift from her. But, someone had in fact bought that print for me. I immediately felt guilty for the silly post I had launched, when I jokingly asked for this print. But a friend of mine took my longing seriously.
Gently peeling away the strip that held the envelope shut-tight, I slipped the inner manila colored envelope from it’s stiff outside casing. I held my breath and shooed my curious children back. I could feel their little eyes on my slow movement. With tears brimming, I stared down at this piece of loveliness–this unexpected gift.
On my knees there beside the stairs, I sat staring at this treasure. My asking had been tongue-in-cheek. Facebook is a noisy place and I didn’t expect anyone to hear me, much less take me seriously–and yet. I held the love of a friend right there in my hands.
A card slipped out of the envelope and the words were simple, but heartfelt, and I wept with gratitude for the small, surprising ways God whispers His love.
I suppose I have to admit here, that I’d been struggling, questioning the value of my time spent online–questioning my writing and whether or not I was actually serving God by what I was doing.
God used my friend to speak His truth to me that day–that I have value, that He cares about the things I care about, that what I do matters–someone notices, and someone cares.
I know the cost of the painting because I had window shopped this artists’s Etsy store. But to me, this image carries a value immeasurable. My sweet friend paid real money for it, that is true, but no money in the world could buy the feeling of gratitude and deep love I feel each time I walk past it.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above. James 1:17
Have you ever been surprised by an unexpected gift? Let’s tell our stories in the comment section below.
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