Black and Blue
By Hally Franz –
There are two types of people—those who shop on Black Friday and those who do not. I love Black-Friday-shopper types. Typically, they are outgoing and adventurous folks, fun-loving with just a pinch of crazy that I appreciate in people.
I am not a Black Friday shopper. On the day after Thanksgiving, I’m on the floor surrounded by boxes and bows, and my daughter and I wrap Christmas gifts that I have purchased weeks earlier. We watch holiday movies and work at ease. I deliver doses of cocoa to my husband and son as they work on the “exterior illumination”, and we founder on snacks and chili. I am nowhere near a crowded parking lot or cash register.
Consequently, I’ve had nearly all my shopping done since early November. And, while I avoided Black Friday, my annual weekend shopping excursion did leave me with a case of the blues.
After spending almost an hour in one of my favorite stores, I emerged with two bags of pampering products. The lighter and lesser bag included lotions and hand washes. The other was a great deal heavier, full of oil burners and candles. Its value was $84.26.
Shopping with my mom and sister, I evidently set the bag down and it didn’t make it to the van. I didn’t realize I’d lost one until we arrived home the next day.
I called several stores and the mall office, but the bag hadn’t been turned in. I then began going through the process of grieving the lost bag. First, there was guilt. How could I have been so careless? I imagined my frugal father wincing and shaking his head in Heaven. I chastised myself for drinking too much diet soda; we all know it kills brain cells!
Next, I entered the anger phase. Why had no one returned my bag? I would have. I wondered how someone could just take the gifts painstakingly selected and purchased, especially at the holiday season. I was indignant over the situation!
Finally, there was acceptance. I thanked God our family would be fine without the wasted $84.26. My husband works hard for each dollar, and they all have a place to go, but we are blessed, and it’s okay.
So, what’s the $85 lesson?
We make mistakes, and the world is full of sin, but His birth gives us hope. And, that’s what makes it all okay.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, while our lives are complicated with problems, errors and sin, You are eternally perfect, righteous and holy. Thank You for Your Son and the eternal gift of hope.
BIBLE VERSE: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21 NIV).