“a nice thing”

One morning on the glossy boulevard a young doctor crashed into our room. The lights were off, as Sonya was sleeping, and to protect this precious commodity I tried to slow his entry, but to no avail.  With no apparent concern for my sleeping bride he instantly transformed the mood lighting from “soothing blue IV drip lights against the canvas of darkness” to “shocking fluorescent.”

He skipped all customary niceties, like an introduction or greeting.

Without looking up from his chart he says, “So, you’re the donor?”

Now I’m sorry, but I think he should have known that before coming into the room.

Since he couldn’t very well follow that with “that gown is a good color on you,” he did the best he could.

He said, “You did a nice thing.”

Bless his heart (which is what we say in the south). The poor guy just had no clue what to say.

And a lot of us have had the same problem.

Some gifts are like that . . . when we witness them, we are left tongue-tied.

Receiving them is sometime more traumatic than witnessing them. We say “thanks.” But the gift is such that we don’t feel good at all about just saying “thanks,” and we want to do more. In fact, we feel like we should do more, maybe even that we have to do more. We devise all manner of responding in a bigger, better way . . .

But in the end, the nature of the gift leaves us helpless, with no way to repay, content to wonder in tears and gratitude.

Over the millennia Christians have managed to butcher the essence of Christianity . . . do this . . . don’t do this . . . vote this way . . . don’t vote this way . . . attend here . . . .don’t attend here . . . put this sticker on . . . wear this T shirt.

But in its purest form the Christian experience is one of receiving a gift that leave us overwhelmed.

This gift would be the undeserved gift of God’s Son.

Saying that’s “a nice thing” just doesn’t do it. And saying “thanks” seems to leave us wanting, too.

Rather, the nature of the gift leaves us helpless, with no way to repay, content to wonder in tears and gratitude.

It isn’t always settling to receive such a gift, but it is the best kind.


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4 Responses to “a nice thing”

  1. Pingback: Two new posts from Rick | sonyahove

  2. Scott & Jan Luley says:


    As I read your blog entries and prayed, I was “transported” into your family’s world with details more real and rich than I could ever describe. Your effortless ability to “paint word pictures” allowed me to experience things I would have not noticed or appreciated if I had been there myself.

    I hope you’ll compile your blog entries and others’ comments into a book so your family and friends can give thanks with you for all our Lord did to meet your every need. Thanks for allowing me to pray with and for “you all.”

  3. Jan Hoyle says:

    Amen! You are so right and say it so well. To God be the Glory!

  4. Mandy says:


    I have looked forward to reading your posts each day since I’ve learned about the journey you all have been on. They have been beautiful, revealing, transparent, thought provoking, funny, well written, and last but not least, tear producing. Thanks for sharing! I have gotten a lot from it. I have enjoyed reading how God has shown His presence and presents to you along the way! You kept your eyes on Him and have been blessed! His lessons in tough times are so sweet! Jack and I even shared the “Happy Button” post with our small group because it gave such a great picture and phrase to what we have been trying to have them analyze and acknowledge in their own lives. It will be a saying that comes up often. Thanks for that! I pray that Sonya’s healing continues as it has and that you both continue to share as He reveals more to you. Keep writing!

    Blessings in Christ,
    Mandy (Anne N.’s sister)

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