Last week was a – let us say, ‘significant’ – birthday for my wife, Kris. We always observe birthdays and anniversaries, but we don’t usually pull out too many stops for them. That fact made this birthday all the more tempting to do the ultimate… a surprise party… she’d never expect it.

I’ll spare you the details, but even with some adverse last minute changes of events we were able to pull it off. And even though I had only gotten back in town the middle of the day before and had to pull the house and food together in very little time (thanks to great help from wonderful neighbor Lisa and all 4 kids doing great stuff) I have to say I really enjoyed it. In fact I enjoyed it so much it ‘surprised’ me.

I love parties like this. I love to wander around and talk to my favorite people, scores of them, surrounded by good food and drink. But I enjoyed the party more than I that could account for, especially considering how hard I worked to make it happen. It took little reflection to figure out why. I was overjoyed (that sounds like a trite phrase, but it is what I felt) to do this for Kris. I learned a new aspect of my love for her that day. There is something deep inside me that found great satisfaction – almost fulfillment – in doing omething that she could enjoy so much, and that brought her the love of her family and friends that is so good and frue for her.

Back to Isaiah 43.3b-4a (one of my favorite chapters in the Bible).

I give Egypt as your ransom,
Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you.
Because you are precious in my sight,
and honored, and I love you,

This serves as a reminder for us to continue to use varied and creative ways of bringing people into the presence of God at Jacob’s Well. You can be taught a lot by by someone telling you something, by reading a blog or a book, but I like learning profound things by throwing a party. In this case a different view of my relationship with the one person I’m spending my whole life with… and an insight into God’s motivation to make an ultimate gift for me. Wow, God loves me like that.? That changes things…


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