Unexpected gifts

By Mary Ann Hughes

Grace Notes

The summer that I was five-and-a-half, my family lived in a huge apartment complex in Indianapolis.

Every morning after breakfast, I would head outside to one of the courtyards. My memory is fading, but I think there were probably swings and basketball courts there. I was often joined by four other little girls from neighboring apartment buildings.

I guess we did the usual things that very young girls do together, but one morning was different.

An older child, perhaps 13 years old, approached us and invited us to her apartment on the other side of the complex. None of us felt the urge to check with our mothers — it was 1955 after all — and we waddled like trusting little ducklings behind her.

We climbed two or three flights of stairs and when we arrived at her apartment, she welcomed us inside and took us to her bedroom. It was the loveliest room I had ever seen. There were shelves everywhere; each one was filled with beautiful dolls.

We were standing there in silence when her mother appeared. She said that her daughter was now a teenager, and ready to enter that new phase of her life. She explained to us that that meant leaving her childhood toys behind. 

She invited us to take a good look around the bedroom and chose a doll for our very own. I looked at the girl, not quite believing that she agreed with her mother about giving up her treasures, and then I started studying the room.

Each of the dolls was lovely, but I was finally able to make my choice. I picked one with dark brown curly hair and eyes that opened wide and shut tightly. She had legs and arms that moved up and down, and I thought she was wonderful.

For some reason, my five-year-old brain thought Mary Wire sounded like a good name, so that’s what I called her.

I believe that that morning was my introduction to the beautiful concepts of abundance and generosity.

It’s so wonderful when people give you gifts out of their abundance. It’s even better when we are able to recognize the divine gifts that we receive out of God the Father’s abundance.

Sometimes we are so blinded by life’s difficulties that we can’t spot His generosity.

I guess we need to pray for the clarity of vision to be able to see His love for us and how it is manifested daily.

Perhaps, if we do that, then we will recognize His gifts which are as lovely and as unexpected as my beloved doll Mary Wire.