Thursday, December 15, 2005

Adventures in missing the point

Today I read Caleb Christmas Day in the Morning by Pearl S. Buck. It is a beautiful story about, Rob, a fifteen year old boy who really learns the love his father has for him. Immediately he wishes he could provide a better gift for Christmas, but Rob and his family are a humble farming family and he doesn't have any money. But every morning he assists his dad with the milking chores. His dad wakes him up then goes to the barn while Rob gets dressed in order to join him in milking the cattle. On Christmas Rob gets up extra early and does all the milking himself. His father is touched; it is his best Christmas ever. The story is really about how it is easy to serve when you know the love of the father.

Caleb didn't really get it.

"But that isn't a present. It has to be wrapped. It has to be under the tree."

I explained to him that some of the best presents were things that we did for others. Then I asked him what he could do to show his dad how much he loved him.

And Caleb's eyes lit up and his mouth opened in four year old exuberance and he said, "I can milk Shaggy!"*

Shaggy is our cat.

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