I belatedly unpacked my bag. A week after the fact, I came across a stack of Christmas card covers. To the uninformed, the stack of used covers without writing could have been confusing. There was no connection with anything except the season. I saw a stack of potential labels that one could use when wrapping presents. Each card could be cut into shapes and, with the addition of handwritten initials or a note, attached to a present with someone’s name.
It is a tradition that began in the family more than thirty years ago. I do not remember why it started. I do know that this act will forever remind me of people that care enough to give gifts with another’s name on it from the inside out.
Labels can come with a bad reputation. Put the wrong one on something or someone, and the bad things follow. The misinformation leads to inappropriate action and biased judgments. Nothing good will come of it. In the generalized annoyance, I forget that a label that speaks to our greatest hopes and aspirations can be good. It speaks to our dream for another as well as for our self.
And old writer introduces his letter to receivers and readers alike; “I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ and brother to James, writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1.1) I am very sure that Jude as well as the community that received the letter did not always fit the label. Each had her/his bad day, giving way to fears, uncertainties, and doubts. I can also imagine that the label brought a smile of hope to everyone involved. Thoughts formed, wanting to be spoken and in some cases being heard from those around them.
“Someone believes I am loved and part of a family.”
“A wisdom father knows I am protected.”
“I am safe in this situation I find myself in. Hope is nearby.”
Today I will describe others by how I touched them; may each know s/he is loved.