Monday, December 24, 2007
Okay, I’m stuck on the story, The Gift of the Magi...I’m just curious, mind you. So—I know she has this long, incredible hair that her husband adores, and (since it’s Christmas) she’s been admiring this beautiful comb in the store window....and he, too, has been secretly admiring something of high price. (But what???) She will (on the sly) go into town and find someone willing to cut off her long beautiful hair and, in turn, earn a high price for its lovely quality. In so doing, she will have acquired enough money to purchase the gift her husband has long desired. (Again, what was it?)
And what does he own that is valuable enough to sacrifice and provide the monies needed for purchasing a costly comb? How about his long beard? Did he even have one? And if he did, were merchants in the habit of buying beards back then? Are they now? Have they ever been? What purpose would a long beard actually serve, except for catching bugs and particles of food, using as kindling, or stuffing a pillow, or weaving a wall hanging. YUCK! And let’s not forget the proverbial Santa Clause. Surely beards of the white variety are in great need throughout the season. So he could sell it at the local barbershop, dye it white, or donate it to the local Salvation Army, but wait, contributions equals no money in return. Remember, DO NOT contribute to a good cause unless all you’re looking for in return is that delightfully warm, yummy feeling you get at the center of your chest.
Yes, it would make for a self-sacrificing ending, her cutting her hair, him buying her a comb she can no longer use, her purchasing a gold pair of shearers for which to trim his foot-long beard, which no longer exists.
There are other options, of course. He could have donated his arm for science, and she could have bought him the long desired trench coat, only to have to sew up one sleeve. Or there’s the proverbial leg. MAYBE it was a fine pair of leather shoes he sought, and so his sacrifice, of course, allowed him only one good shoe by which to hop across the room after watching her place her beautiful new comb in place, and lavish her with a wet kiss behind the ear afterward. Isn’t that a lovely word picture? Or more like morbid? Did someone say that?
I am plum out of ideas—unless it was a new leather wallet he longed for and by the time she purchased it for him, he had nothing to fill it with, because he’d sacrificed all the cash he’d earned doing cartwheels from Fifth Avenue to 64th Street, and kept at it until his jar was full of coins that jangled all the way to the department store where her lovely comb lay in wait.
Well, whether you can recall what the young man sacrificed on behalf of his lovely wife, isn’t the point, I guess. What is the point is that Jesus sacrificed his entire life on earth, stooping first to breathe his first breath in a smelly stable, later experiencing persecution of the worst kind, despite His blatant miracles, and finally, death on the cross so that we could have our heart’s desires—life eternal in a beautiful place, free of worries and cares, absent of any more sacrifice, a love so incomprehensible that we can’t begin to imagine an end or a beginning, and one more thing—all the wants and needs our minds could muster provided at out beck and call.
Now that’s the true gift of the Magi, right there The ultimate sacrifice!
Merry Christmas and the most blessed New Year you’ve ever experience!
P. S. Seriously, now, what did the man give up in order to buy the comb? I haven’t read that story in ages.
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