My mother-in-law was the most grace filled woman you could ever imagine. Always kind. Never a harsh word. She was one who would make extra at dinner and fix plates for the couple two doors down because he had had a heart attack and she didn’t get around very well. And not just one time but until they were back on their feet a bit…weeks later.
So imagine our surprise when she opened her gift one Christmas morning with such a look of disappointment and disdain. With Nat King Cole’s timeless pipes crooning about roasting chestnuts over open fires, my precious mother-in-law asked my father-in-law if he had the receipt because he needed to return it. Tomorrow. First thing. She didn’t want it. She would never use IT.
“It” was an Epilady. A description from their website says: Epilady revolutionized hair removal by inventing the epilator in 1986 and has been a leader in technology and innovation. Switch to epilation and never shave again.
I like Wikipedia’s definition better. It allows the reader to feel the essence of experience: an epilator is an electrical device used to remove hair by mechanically grasping hairs simultaneously and PULLING THEM OUT! The way in which epilators pull out hair is similar to waxing, although unlike waxing, they do not remove cells from the epithelium of the epidermis. (So there’s that…) (Caps and commentary are mine.)
Guess who found the receipt and went shopping early the next day? I do believe he found some gorgeous salt-water pearls….
I wish I could tell you the apple didn’t fall far from the tree but my man stepped right in his father’s footsteps when he hand made me a ping pong table….that he and his Air Force buddies spent hours playing on. It’s amazing what you can do with a piece of plywood, a little paint, some netting and sawhorses.
Bless them both for trying.
Some gifts are so unexpected that you don’t even realize what a gift it was until after some time has passed.
Take pain, for example. I’m not talking about the pull-out-your-hair-Epilady self-inflicted pain. But the kind you don’t control. The past few months I’ve had a pain in my hip that radiated down my outer thigh to my knee. I tried the chiropractor. I got deep muscle massages. Essential Oils. Rolling it out. Nothing was helping. In fact I looked like a 95-year-old woman walking around.
I finally went to see an orthopedic guy whose diagnosis was Greater Trochanter Bursitis and a tight IT band. The fix was a painful cortisone shot in my hip. You’ll be cussing me over the weekend but by Monday, you’ll love me.
My pain would be worse before it got better. And boy was he right!
So how is pain an unexpected gift?
~ Pain let’s you know something is off. Whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual, when you feel pain, you know you need to address it.
~ Pain makes you even more grateful when the it’s gone. I’m so thankful for pain free stair climbing, being able to put my sock on without being creative and walking/exercising….things I took for granted before.
~ Pain will make you seek out someone for help. In my case it was the orthopedic doctor but it could be a counselor or someone who has walked the road you’re on now.
~ Pain will often draw us closer to God as we know He is the ultimate Comforter, Healer and sufficient Grace.
Sometimes it takes looking at things from a different angle to see their benefits. My hip pain was a gift. The homemade Ping-Pong table gave us hours of fun. The Epilady…well two out three aint bad. (Guys, keep those receipts.)