The Broken Unicorn
By Brenda W. McIntyre
Every child has a favorite thing they like, such as action figures or stuffed animals. Growing up, my preferred thing was unicorns. I had several unicorn collectibles on a shelf in my room. One day, for no particular reason, my daddy brought home a small green box with the picture of a unicorn on the front and back. Daddy was not the type to remember birthdays or spend time picking out Christmas presents. This gift wasn’t even wrapped. He simply said, “Here, you can have this.”
I could tell the box was previously opened. Reopening it, I pulled out something carelessly wrapped in tissue paper. Unwrapping the item revealed a three-inch tall unicorn atop an oval base, just as the pictures depicted. Tipping the mythical creature caused the lid on the base to open revealing a place for jewelry or other keepsakes. The only difference between the actual item and the images on the box was a crack down the side of the unicorn I held in my hand. I was filled with disappointment. Why had my daddy given me a broken gift? I wasn’t expecting anything, but receiving something damaged was an insult. I went to my room and cried. When I could shed no more tears, I placed the defective decoration on the shelf with my other unicorns.
Years later I realized my daddy meant no harm in giving me a less-than-perfect gift. Who knows where he’d gotten it, but he cared enough to know I collected unicorns. His heart was in the right place.
We all have a Heavenly Father who cares so much more about us than an earthly parent is capable of. He gave the perfect, unblemished gift when he sent His son Jesus to atone for our sins. In the book of Ephesians, the Apostle Paul said, “for by grace have you been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).” From the time He was born till the time he ascended into heaven Jesus walked on this earth a flawless man. It was man’s sinfulness that broke Jesus’ body into many pieces, but he still surrendered to God’s Will for His life.
Now that I am a parent I want what is best for my own children, but I often fail. I make the wrong decisions sometimes, but I would never purposely make a bad choice for my kids or give them a present I thought they wouldn’t like. With Christmas right around the corner, I would love to buy them all the presents they want, but I can’t. Instead, I put thought into each gift I purchase. Whether I spend a lot or a little on a present, its purpose is to bring enjoyment to the one receiving it. I can try my best, but as James stated in his book, “every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)