I recently received a birthday gift from a friend who does not have access to cards or pretty paper, but it is one of the best gifts I have ever received. He wrote down a poem from memory that wasn’t sentimental and had nothing whatsoever to do with birthdays, but it brought a huge smile to my face and even made me laugh. He’s a man’s man with a big heart. This is what he wrote:
Happy Birthday Young Girl
I don’t have access to a store that sells b-day cards, so I’ll send you a funny poem or rhyme I heard on TV!
There once was a man
Name Barney Fife
Who carried a pistol
And a knife
The pistol all rusty
The knife all dusty
Cause he never caught
A crook in his life!
Best I can do for a b-day card for you! Hope you like it! It sure makes me laugh!”
Yes, it did make me laugh, and I treasure it.
His gift reminded me of two things. One is from The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring movie in which Sam expresses a tribute to the recently fallen wizard, Gandalf. The elves were singing a hauntingly, beautiful lament, and he said, “I bet they don’t mention his fireworks. There should be a verse about them.” So he stood and proceeded to create a verse, “The finest rockets ever seen. They burst in stars of blue and green. Or after thunder, silver showers came falling like a rain of flowers.” Then he discouragingly said, “Oh, that doesn’t do them justice by a long road.”
The second thing of which I was reminded is how the Bible expresses God’s perspective on gifts. Like an earthly father and mother who appreciate even the smallest, heartfelt gifts from their children, God doesn’t expect perfect pitch when we sing songs of praise and thanksgiving to Him. He doesn’t expect us to give hundreds or even thousands of dollars when we have only two copper coins, and He doesn’t expect a huge bouquet of flowers when all we have is a fistful of dandelions. God loves a cheerful giver and a gift that comes from the heart. (2 Cor. 9:7)