Today, I am making room for surprises.

Merry Christmas, all.

I am a list maker.  I make presents long before people put out lists, but also try to get my list out early because I know I am hard to shop for.  This year my list had three items on it: brakes for my car, a Hanukkiah of my own (long–good–story), and gift cards to places I go frequently.

One item I wished to put on there, but did not because I am an adult and I have things in my life with a higher priority, was a certain lamp.  It’s made by Rolf Lidberg, a favorite artist.  I have two of his statues, but this lamp was more than just a decoration or a nice thing to have around: it was perfect.  It looks a lot like a scene from Children of the Forest by Elsa Beskow.  I was raised on Swedish faerie tales.  I have a great fondness for them.  When we went to Sweden last year, I was able to branch into children’s books and that was one of my favorites.  I already wanted the lamp at that point, but this made the want much stronger.

However, this lamp was very expensive.  I have been looking at it for three years.  Each year, I have been encouraged that all others seem to be put off by the price, too, though that did not mean I had the means to get this beautiful lamp.  I daren’t wish for the lamp, as I had quite the expensive necessity on my list.  This year, I was sure the lamp would sell.  I went to stare at it for a time and cried a little that something so beautiful that I had tried to budget for just could not be had.  But, I wiped the tears and focused on the fact that I was going to get brakes that would keep me safe.  My life is much more important than a lamp that barely shines enough light to read a book by.

But Mommasan and Papi are pretty wonderful people and found room in their budget for the lamp AND a good portion of my brakes.  I didn’t ever think I would get that lamp.  It’s all the more beautiful because it is SUCH a surprise that it ended up under the tree.  I need to learn to expect more surprises–not of the world, but of the people around me.  People are strange and wonderful and surprising, but I am apt to miss that if I don’t pay attention.

Christ taught us to see the greatness in people, the surprise.  He taught us to see the faithful woman in the wretch, the pure woman in the fallen, the living soul in the dead, the listener in the busy worker, the testimony in the  uneducated.  He teaches a people-centric gospel.  I can make room for that.

Thanks, Mom and Dad.  I love my little lamp.

This much cuteness must be shared.