An Unexpected Gift


"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." (Gen 1:27 NIV)

When I went to work that Friday morning, I had no idea that later in the day I would fulfill one of my oldest son's wildest dreams. I was busily working on a project in my office when, for some unknown reason, I had the urge to go to another department. It is highly unusual for me to go there without some specific purpose, but the urge was strong, and a few moments later, I found myself standing inside the door.

The receptionist was busily admiring a large box of shells on the counter when I entered. Since one of my son's passions is Conchology, the study and collection of shells, I was immediately intrigued, and I walked over to look at them more closely.

"Are you sure you want to get rid of those?" The receptionist was asking a technician.

"Absolutely!" Responded the technician. "I have no room for them in here." Then he turned and left the room.

I nonchalantly picked up a shell and began to examine it. "What are you planning to do with all of these?" I asked.

"Oh, I will probably pick out a few of them to decorate the plants in the entrance," the receptionist responded. "Don't you think that will look nice?"

"I'm sure it will," I said. "You have a keen eye for such things!" I waited a few seconds, then I told her about my son and how much he loved shells. "He's fascinated by how the shells form and how the animal survives," I said, "and he can name almost any shell and tell you where it can be found."

I didn't really intend to be dropping hints, and I couldn't have been more surprised when, later that day, our receptionist brought a huge box to my office. "Take these home to your son," she said simply.

She couldn't have known how much this gift would be appreciated, for to my son, receiving a shell is like receiving a precious treasure. When I tried to thank her, she simply responded with, "He can come and check out my plants, if he likes. If there's something I kept back that he would like, he is more than welcome to take it as well!"

You can imagine my son's excitement when I brought that box of shells home that evening. He checked each shell, named it and told where it was from, and when his younger brother joined in the fun, he gladly shared the duplicates. Wow!

"Why did I get these?" He asked.

The answer was simple. God's perfect timing and a kind receptionist. As I reflected on all of this, I couldn't help but think about His love towards us. These words came to my mind: "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." (Mark 9:37 NIV)

We were created in the "image of God" for a reason: to act and love the way He does towards each one of us.

"Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." (1 Cor 11:1 NIV)

"Follow the way of love." (1 Cor 14:1 NIV)

Will you share your treasure with others?

Rob Chaffart

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