While I am in between sermon series my “musings” on the blog have been a little bit random. So that continues….Two days ago my wife and I, for a reason I cannot remember, were talking about the short story, the Gift of the Magi…and then I was reading a book yesterday and the same story was mentioned. So I thought I’d write about it. If you don’t know the story, you can Google it and find it very quickly but it is the story of a young married couple who sacrifice to give gifts to one another. The husband sells his pocketwatch to buy hair accessories for his wife while unknown to him, she “sells” her hair to buy a chain for his pocketwatch. I remember reading the story as a student and thinking that the story was about irony. And I guess it is but I admit that my general impression of the story was one of sadness or foolishness.
But while I was thinking about that story I realized that I had really missed the point. The point of the story is not sadness. The point of the story is sacrifice. Both these people were willing to sacrifice their most “prized” possession for the benefit of the one they loved. The real meaning of this story to me is the beauty of the sacrifice and the intense love they had for one another. Even when their deeds are uncovered, there is no anger or feelings of foolishness. I get the idea that if the short story were to be longer, we would see that the actions each of them took would only draw them closer together.
And isn’t that what sacrificial love does? When we sacrifice for someone else we are drawn closer to them. It is when we are selfish that we drift away. An obvious application is the sacrificial love of God for human beings. God “gave” His only Son so that we could have a relationship with Him. And when we “give” ourselves to Him we experience incredible closeness and joy…we are truly brought together with God. I now have a new appreciation for the story and I hope a new appreciation for the need for sacrificial love.