I sit on the sun-warmed pier and watch these two blond-haired, blue-eyed boys gathering rocks on the lake's edge and throwing them into the murky water. I have often looked at them and wondered what I did to deserve such beautiful, funny, sweet children. It only takes a moment for me to realize that I did nothing. I do not deserve them. They are gifts.
On days like Saturday, where Calvin contradicted every comment that came out of my mouth and Hobbes quickly picked up on his brother's whiny mood and joined right in, I still know somewhere in my core that they are precious. As soon as they are asleep, no matter how bad the day has been, I look at their small bodies and wonder how I have managed to be angry at so fragile a thing. They are gifts.
I cannot hold them too tightly. He who gave them to me knows better than I how to care for them. But I do not want to let go. It is my greatest battle. They are mine. I bore them. I feed and dress and comfort them. But they are not mine, not really. Because I cannot always be there to care for them, I have to entrust them to Someone who can, and I have to teach them to trust in Him. They are gifts. And the only proper way to receive them is with open hands. But that is so very, very hard to do.
I have been thinking about this giving back this week, as the blood flows and a gift that had barely begun to be mine is returned to the Giver. I do not want to give it up, but I am trying to be willing. But what if he asked it of one of these two, the ones I already know, the packages I have opened to find something more beautiful and creative and joyful than I ever could have imagined? I don't know. How did he do it?