An Image of Love and Joy


20151210_192636-1.jpg… You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with      all your mind.… You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Matt 22: 37, 39 (NAS)

by Alfred W. Bates

My wife, Linda, and I are blessed with eight grandchildren, three girls and five boys, and we love them all very much. Each child is unique in his or her own way and like   different things. It’s challenging deciding what to give them for Christmas. Most have outgrown the use for toys and   desires have changed to items like electronics, clothing, sporting goods, and music. Although their ages ranged from nine to nineteen, last year we decided to give each of them camouflage clothing as one of their gifts.


We knew it possible some might not like the present, so we sat patiently watching faces as each child opened the unique Christmas gift. To our joy, everyone showed surprise and love for their gift, including our nine-year-old granddaughter who received a special vest and hat. Each child proudly modeled the camouflage in their own way and poked fun at each other. One of the children eagerly suggested a group picture. The photo captured everyone smiling and wearing their gift, while preserving for us an image of love and joy.



Heavenly Father, thank you for your gift of Jesus, and the opportunities you provide us to let your love shine through to our families, friends, and neighbors throughout the year. Amen

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