My sixteen-year old daughter needed panty hose for her show choir costume, so after her brother’s saxophone lesson, we headed to the giant big box retailer.
“Do you want me to go in and get ‘em?” she asked.
That’s when it occurred to me. She’s never bought panty hose before.
“I’ll go with you,” I offered.
We found the sock aisle, and I motioned her to the panty hose section. I pulled out a pair, read “Ultra Sheer” on the label, and immediately placed the package back in the rack. I’ve had my own experiences of fingernails accidentally ripping Ultra Sheer.
I chose a package of what was, hopefully, more durable panty hose. I flipped the cardboard over and showed her the height and weight chart on the back.
I spoke from wisdom. “We’ll get two.”
(The stage waits for no one, even a first year a capella performer near meltdown because she has a run in her stockings.)
At the check-out line, the clerk asked me the question. It’s less than a week before Christmas. You know the one.
“Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet?”
She was simply making small talk, but my heart rate quickened and my breathing shallowed.
With a twinge of apology, I replied, “I haven’t even started.”
She was incredulous.
“You do know what day it is, don’t you?”
I gave her a half smile of the pursed-lips variety.
Gift-giving can be stressful.
I want to find gifts that elicit “ooos,” “ahhhhs,” and “this is the best gift ever!”
Especially after the dreaded sewing machine incident.
I’m afraid I’ll disappoint him again. I remember how my heart dropped into my stomach as the smile faded from his face.
Because we can laugh about it now, I know gifts are just things. That kind of disappointment eventually dissipates, becoming the stuff of great family stories.
But in real life, disappointment can be staggering. Good people fight cancer, jobs are scarce, teenagers die in car accidents, and husbands leave wives for other women.
Can we hope for something more, and if so, how?
And there were in the same country, shepherds, abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
What if the answer to all our disappointment can be found in abiding?
Picture the shepherds doing shepherdly things. They fended off wolves, fed and watered sheep, mended fences, and gathered stray lambs.
In the midst of their dirty and often challenging lives, something miraculous happened. They heard the voice of God, saw His glory, and went with haste to see a baby.
Their encounter with Jesus made a significant impact on their lives.
They exchanged ordinary for outreach.
Peril for praise.
Work for worship.
Today that great exchange continues in us: we abide in Him and He abides in us.
In the panty hose aisle, in the check-out line, or in the audience of a chorus concert.
Other Posts about Expectation:
- A Pregnancy of the Heart
- Great Expectations: Contemplating Marriage after Long-Term Singleness
- Hoping for Something for More