Some Christmas presents cannot be wrapped neatly and placed under the tree. My husband gave a gift like that to our youngest daughter this year.
I noticed Carrie and her dad huddled in a corner in serious discussion last Christmas. Later he told me about her request for a special present that would need to be hand crafted. He agreed to work on it throughout the year and bring it to her in San Diego for this year’s Christmas holiday.
Carrie asked him to make her a sign with the word “hope” in big letters. He purchased one-half inch exterior plywood, three feet by seven feet and painted it with flat black paint. He printed the word “hope” in white letters finished with reflective spray.
An Old Idea Made New
Christmastime built a memory that affected our lives over two decades ago when we moved here. One of our neighbors created a one-word sign, hope, and attached it to their roof. As our family drove to our home through the switchbacks, the word hope lay suspended in the sky which created a dramatic effect especially after dark.
Year after year, the neighbor displayed the hope sign on his roof. We didn’t realize how hope imprinted in our minds. We talked little about it.
Carrie remembered those days and discussed her feelings with her dad. She longed to duplicate it. It turned out to be a fun project.
We went to San Diego for Thanksgiving a few weeks ago and brought the finished sign. Hours after we arrived, we mounted the hope sign from the gate in their backyard which faces a canyon! A busy street runs through the canyon and drivers can’t miss the sign of hope suspended in white letters lit up with an outdoor light for nighttime.
The sentiment she scripted on her Facebook page warmed my heart:
“Today we celebrate my dad’s 69th birthday! After his health scare last year and a long road of recovery, its extra sweet to have him visiting with us during this time of Thanksgiving. He made me this Christmas present, the best I’ve ever received: a sign with giant reflective letters with a spotlight. We hung it on my back gate overlooking a well traveled road. If only one person feels this loving hope this Christmas season, it will make me so happy. Thanks, Dad! We love you!
Long before Jesus came to earth as a baby, Father God gave a sign of His coming. Spoken through his servant, Isaiah. He prophesied:
Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign.
Behold, a young woman shall conceive
And bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
I notice in The Christmas Story in Luke how excited the shepherds became when the baby Jesus arrived.
And the shepherds returned,
Glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen,
As it had been told them.
I’m with Carrie; I feel joyful when others find hope. Jesus is the light of the world. He came to bring us hope. Now that’s exciting!