by Qene’ Jeffers
He wanted a Christmas tree. I wanted a Nativity.
The year was 1973. It was our first Christmas together in our own home located in Chula Vista, California. Pat spent most of that year on a tour of duty in Viet Nam – sweeping the harbor for mines. We were away from family, we were away from friends, but it was home because he was there. I was content with that. After much discussion and counting of coins the Christmas tree won out. Not because Pat was stronger, or selfish, or a slick-talker. No, the tree won because it was cheaper than the Nativity and we were poor folk living on the wages of a United States Navy sailor. I didn’t mind, really. I was just glad to be with him and once the tree was set and a few homemade decorations placed in the branches, I forgot all about the Nativity…..almost.
One sunny afternoon on a warm day in mid-December, my groom arrived home from duty with a smile on his face and his hands behind his back. We teasingly played coy guessing games, I chased him around the room, and finally when flirting and sweet-talk didn’t work he slowly brought his hands around for my eyes to see.
As he opened his fingers I saw the faint colors of pink and blue and gold. I couldn’t believe it as he held open his cupped hands and revealed the daintiest, most perfect little Nativity that I had ever seen! The pieces were no more than three inches tall but their shape and color were perfect in every way. There sat beautiful mother Mary, gazing lovingly at her babe. Proud Joseph, staff in hand, stood at her side beholding the beloved Christ Child. And, there in a little manger, perfect and precious, was the Son of God – Son of Man – Yeshua, our Jesus.
I cried with joy that day. All these years later I still remember the excitement of that moment. My shrieks of glee filled the room as I begged to know how he came to own it – to give it. He proudly shared the story of how he saw it in the ship’s store window as a decoration for Christmas. The minute he saw it, he knew he had to have it. It was only after much talking and convincing that he was able to purchase it for me, his bride. The purchase took every penny of the change he had in his pocket, but at the time the price of $2.00 seemed small for such a treasure that was so valued, so desired.
For many years that little Nativity was the only one I owned. I now own more than thirty sets, big and little, plain and beautiful. But that little Nativity, that priceless gift from my beloved Pat, is my favorite of them all.
Receiving this priceless gift and claiming it as my own reminds me of the priceless and perfect gift given to us by our Heavenly Father. It is unlike any gift that has ever been given or received. It is truly a gift beyond compare.
John 1:12-14 KJV
12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The Father gave me Jesus and I received Him…..have you?
About the Author – Qene’ Manon Jeffers
She says, “This was such a special time in our lives. We have truly come full circle – once again, it’s just Pat and me-and we are accomplishing what we set out to do, growing old together.” Qene’ is a friend, a fellow-writer, and former coworker. She works at the National Assemblies of God offices in U.S. Missions/Intercultural. Her husband also works there and is a pastor.