I left the ladies meeting early, carrying my newborn across the empty church parking lot. Someone called my name, but I didn’t recognize her. Feeling protective of my son and hoping she might be addressing someone else, I ignored her.
The stranger approached anyway, carrying a paper bag. “This is for you.” She shoved it toward me, her eyes sparkling. “I heard you say you didn’t have a new blanket for your second child, and I thought every baby should have his own new blanket.”
I thanked her because it was the right thing to do, though I disagreed. I reasoned that a baby doesn’t know how old a blanket is, he just needs to feel loved. Buckling myself into the car, we headed home.
Was that love?
The woman had annoyed me. She gave me a gift I didn’t want in a way I didn’t appreciate. Does that mean she was unloving? No.
Were my actions unloving? Yes.
“If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2 NIV).
When I pulled the blanket out of the bag and saw its light denim blues and beige stripes, I realized it was a wonderful gift. Like Sam, I Am and his Green Eggs and Ham, I liked it!
After my attitude adjustment I asked God for a second chance to express kindness to the woman, and a few weeks later I had the opportunity to do just that.
Love means letting others love you “their way”
A couple years ago, that same son and his wife added a baby girl to the family, and my daughter and I conspired to make a blanket for her. We followed the pattern of the stranger’s gift with the long, coordinating flannel strips, using bolder, more contemporary colors this time.
And this year, another daughter joined their family. This newest sweetheart needs a blanket of her own (my way of saying, “I know they don’t need more baby blankets, but I need to love her this way for now”).
As I stitched the binding around it, I knew my efforts would not win any prizes. Sewing isn’t one of my favorite things to do, though loving others certainly is.
Let me know if you would feel loved if I gave you my bag of left over flannel scraps.
by Kathy Sheldon Davis