That’s a wrap on gift-wrapping

That’s a wrap on gift-wrapping


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We humans have an inherent love for things that come in pretty packages. The rolls of shiny gift-wrapper beside checkout counters dazzle us all. One can see the merit of packaging and repackaging more than just gifts. Many times, based on the intended audience, our stories too, need to be framed and arranged. Making the greatest impact often requires strategic storytelling.

Sometimes, this impulse to repackage turns inward. We tend to present the most acceptable and likable parts of ourselves to the world. We even come before god this way – presenting pieces of ourselves in neat little boxes. Presenting our greatest merits, the strength of our faith or the steadfastness of our hope, making our best case.

C S Lewis once wrote, “god doesn’t want something from us, He simply wants us.” Truth is, there is no need for repackaging. Before god, complete vulnerability equals freedom. His deep love is not limited to our best traits, but equally extends to the inconvenient, difficult-to-digest, impractical and inexpressible. When we present these undesirable, hidden parts of ourselves before a god who loves us wholly, shame ends in that moment, and living as a new creation begins. For new life, endless love and unconditional acceptance are at the heart of Christ’s gospel.

Our very beings have been knit together by a god who looks beyond appearances and straight into the heart. Nothing can really be hidden. Yet, even in the light of an all-knowing creator, making the choice to be uninhibited before him demonstrates our heartfelt trust in who we believe he is–a good father who is kind, compassionate, and loving beyond measure, through our failures and misgivings. As the psalmist writes, the Lord truly is close to all who call on him in truth.

We must, therefore, approach the throne of grace with confidence, with our defences down, and our hearts true. Because despite its shimmering beauty, here’s the thing about all gift-wrapping: no matter how pretty the paper, no matter how impressive the outside, it must always be torn off and kept aside in order to reveal and revel in the beauty of the gift within.