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June 26, 2004
Last Sunday was Father’s Day. My son spent his morning in our church’s preschool program while my wife and I enjoyed the service. When the service was over, my son came bounding into the auditorium just overflowing with excitement, holding something behind his back. He came to me and told me he had a surprise for me. With a flourish he presented to me a little pencil holder he had made for me that very morning. It was made of an orange juice can covered with bits of road map. A sticker on the read “Nick’s dad must ‘Obey God’ and follow his directions. Acts 5:29.”
If I were to look at my son’s creation purely objectively I was see a monstrosity - something that made a mockery of pencil holders. The bits of paper covered only a portion of the can and most of them were loose. The liner on the inside of the can was peeling away because of the moisture it was exposed to. Had I seen nothing but a pencil holder, I would have thrown it away in disgust.
But I see more than a pencil holder. I see an expression of my son’s love for me. I see the effort he put into it and know that he did the best he could. He is incapable at only four years old of making a work of art worthy of a gallery. So while this gift may be a monstrosity, to me it is beautiful. I have never met a parent who would throw away such a gift, expressing disgust at the flaws in it. Every parents understands the joy of receiving such gifts.
I love to bring gifts to God. Whether it is a portion of the finances He has blessed me with or whether it is my time or talents, I love to present my gifts before my heavenly Father. I know that if He viewed these gifts objectively, he would see little more than the monstrosities they are before His perfect standards. He would see the selfishness in my heart as I give money to Him, knowing that I could just as easily use that money to buy myself something nice. He knows that my heart is not perfectly pure as I bring my gifts of worship to Him. He knows who I am. Yet God accepts these imperfect gifts. As a loving Father he accepts the ragged, misshapen little pencil holders I bring to Him and gives them a place of honor on His desk. He knows my imperfections, He knows I am only dust, and He knows that through my gifts, faulty as they may be, I seek to bring honor and glory to Him.