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The Gift
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Thoughtfully placed in my hand, a tubular form rattled slightly as my fingers wrapped around it. Even with my eyes held tightly closed, I knew what it was—a kaleidoscope! I had always wanted one and now here it was given to me. I opened my eyes and smiled as I looked at it. I was overwhelmed by a strange sense of contentment, much like when your tummy is full after an exceptionally good dinner. After so many years of timidly yearning, here it was, this simply perfect gift.

I couldn’t resist turning it up to the light. I squinted up my left eye and peered through with the right. Vivid stained glass colors fell into symmetrical form like tin soldiers with the slightest turn of my hand. I was 45-years-old and my life had taken so many turns. Like the kaleidoscope palette, each circumstance had brought a new presentation of shapes and colors to deal with—some sharp and painful, others soft and round. I’ve learned to be careful in life and to always be prepared for change. I’ve come to know that change is inevitable.

But what is a kaleidoscope without light? In life, love is the light. For no matter what befalls you, with love, you always land on your feet. Whatever turn of events happen, I’ve realized that although I cannot control what happens outside my kaleidoscope, I can control what happens to me and what I see. I choose to what level change will impact me; how long I’ll grieve or stomp my feet. It is up to me to determine.

Breeds Such Great Contemplation

If I had been given this kaleidoscope as a child, a few quick turns and I may have discarded it, perhaps never to pick it up again. Today at 45, it is a high honor to hold what my child heart longed for. It breeds such great contemplation.

Who inspired its creation? Michael Angelo, Lois Tiffany or God? I see a universe, a lush garden, and a stained glass chapel window, all gently created with the turn of my hand. As children, we prod with fingers and peek into everything; it is our way of learning about the world. Looking and seeing are two totally different experiences. A kaleidoscope gives you the choice to do both.

I’m grateful for this gift and the giver who somehow knew me enough to know how much I’d cherish and appreciate receiving this dash of rainbow excitement I now hold securely in my hand.

Scripture tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). God is the ultimate giver. He knows what we are made of and what each of us most desire. He can be counted upon to care for us in every difficult life experience and, at the turn of His hand, turn us to the glorious and dazzling light of His forgiveness and love.

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By Cathy Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Canadian Adventist Messenger, July 2006. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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