Greg and the monkey toy

“I can’t believe my daddy bought me this toy!”

The words came from “Greg”.  He’s a friend’s son.  He’s probably about seven or eight.  He has orange-red hair and sunny freckles.  He ran up to me to give me a big hug before I even made it to where he and his dad were.

He was hard to recognize in his snow suit, most of his face covered up for the winter weather.  Sandwiched in age between two sisters, it was just dad and him today.

Almost immediately, Greg wanted to show me something.  “Look what my daddy got me!” he said.

I looked at the snow beside the sidewalk.  There was an impressive box.  I remember how, when I was little, the tiny ride-for-a-quarter elephants at the toy store seemed grandiose, so I could imagine the box seemed even bigger to Greg than it did to me.

Greg said something like, “See?  See?”

The toy Greg’s daddy bought him.

The big box had a photograph of the toy inside.  It looked like a jungle of monkeys, complete with monkeys swinging from trees and ropes.  All kinds of cranks connected the trees and ropes.

Giddy is really a word that should be saved for 7-year-old children, because they know how to master it.  Greg was giddy.

“I can’t believe my daddy got me this toy!” he said in awe.  His eyes kept scraping over every detail of the photograph on the cardboard box.

Greg’s dad explained (as his son was carrying on like the Day of Jubilee had come) that they’d been to Goodwill, and Greg had found the toy.  I think he said he’d paid $4.  Greg had asked, “Can we get this, daddy?” and his dad had bought it, and that was how this moment had come: Greg, delirious with glee, rambling to himself about the toy whenever I stopped listening.

I sat down in a chair beside the sidewalk, but I didn’t stay there for long.  Greg’s delight was contagious.  I walked over to him, where he was still busy looking at the photograph on the box, and listened to his exclamation-point chattering.

“I can’t believe my daddy bought me this toy!” he said, as if his father had fetched the moon for him.

I knew, by the second or third time he said it, that I had to write about a blog about Greg and the monkey toy.  I felt like Pilgrim in Pilgrim’s Progress when he is in the Interpreter’s house and he gets to watch something happen for what he can learn from it.  It was like a metaphor taken right out of Pilgrim’s Progress (except Bunyan didn’t have any monkey toys in his book).

Greg started taking the pieces out of the box and assembling them on the snowy ground.  I grinned as I thought about his words.

“I can’t believe my daddy bought me this toy!”

How often do I give God the delight of seeing my reaction His gifts?

What is it that sucks the rapture of His love from my life?  Why is it I so often focus on what I don’t have, rather than what I do?

And how is it I can live a moment without the exhilaration of realizing He has given me His Son?

Every generous act and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights; with Him there is no variation or shadow cast by turning. (James 1:17, HCSB)

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Wow! That’s both beautiful and convicting. I really want to get better about expressing thanks, to you and especially to God. I love you!

    On Sat, Apr 20, 2013 at 6:19 PM, gracestories

    • P.S. Can you get me one of those monkey toys?

      • If you give me $40. 😉


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