Fruitcake: The Greatest Gift of AllDecember 18, 2009
I sat down recently to write a letter, vouching for the character of someone I love. Trying as best I could to explain to a complete and total stranger what a wonderful person she is. And, it was difficult. Not because she’s not one of the kindest and sweetest people I know, because she is … but because … well, where’s the proof? What has she done? What are the works, sacrifices, offerings, etc. that would serve as testimonies to the goodness of her heart?
It doesn’t do much good to offer “she just is … trust me, I know her” as an explanation. This man is looking for proof of her goodness – and a great many people testifying to it is a statement and a bit of proof in and of itself, I suppose. That said, I hope a sackful the size of Santa’s shows up on this stranger’s doorstep. He’s a very, very important person in her life right now, after all … and will have a profound impact on her future very, very soon.
In the meantime, all she can hope for is that she’s made a profound enough impact on the lives of enough people that that bag full of letters shows up. That, within them, are stories and memories that are convincing. That show more than a lifetime of the best intentions. And, I think it will.
All of this brought me to this question … what if it was me? What if I were dependent upon all of those I count as friends and family to write a letter, vouching for my character? Explaining who it is I am?
Would I, in good conscience, even be able to ask them for one? Would I really want to know who they thought I was? Would they have to search their souls, calendars or picture books for hours to recall an example of love and/or goodness? Would they be able to fill a page with anything convincing?
And, to take that one step further, if you’re someone who claims to love Christ, have your actions reflected that love? That commitment? What kind of sacrifices have you made on His behalf, for others? What kind of things have you done that have had a profound impact on the lives of others?
In Christ’s court, a list of works/deeds – proof of your love, if you will – won’t be required. He knows your heart.
A stranger on the other hand … ? Well, he doesn’t. And the only tangible proof of its goodness is what its produced … its fruit (or, this being the holiday season, fruitcake, of course).
Would others have any on hand to send along on your behalf?