“What is that Jane?”
“It’s something that dad gave me.” Jane turned the item over in her hand, admiring the way it shone, and the warm smooth texture of it in her palm. Everything about it was appealing.
“Give it to me!”
Todd’s voice was sharp and menacing. Jane’s eyes flashed and she pulled the item to her chest. It grew heavy as her brother watched her. He reached out to snatch it away but she wrenched away from him, and glared over her shoulder at him. Her hands tightened on it until her knuckles were white and it hurt to keep holding on.
“Jane what is wrong dear?” Jane looked up with relief as their father entered the room.
“Dad, Todd is trying to take away the gift you gave me.”
Jane expected her father to tell Todd he had given it to Jane and it wasn’t fair for Todd to ask her for it. Instead, to her surprise, Jane’s father frowned softly. His head tilted in a gentle gesture and he knelt down beside her. Resting a warm hand on her shoulder he tried to guide her towards her brother.
“I meant for that gift to be for both of you. There are more, if you give this one away I will just give you another one.”
Jane’s eyes lit up at the thought of getting another one. It was so nice, so warm. It reminded her of when her father hugged her and she’d place her head against him and breath in his scent. It was like being able to hold one of those hugs in her hand and take it with her wherever she went. Smiling softly, she met her father’s gaze.
“Can I have another one?”
Her father smiled and his answer made her heart sing, “Of course dear.”
And then her stomach dropped, “But you have to give this one away first. See it is too big and heavy, and it takes both hands for you to hold onto it, there’s no way you could hang on to two at the same time.”
Jane looked down at the object. She shifted her grip on it, trying her best to hold it with only one hand, but her father was right. She looked at Todd, and then back to her father.
“Janie, please, it would make me really happy.”
Tears welled up in Jane’s eyes, and it took a tremendous amount of willpower but she walked over to Todd and placed the item in his outstretched hands. Jane sobbed quietly as it left her hands. Suddenly they were so empty and cold. However, her sob turned to a tearful smile and gurgling laugh as Todd’s face lit up. He beamed at her, and then at her father.
“It’s so warm and soft!”
Jane smiled at Todd and then turned to see her father’s reaction. He was smiling at them both, then reaching behind he grabbed something and brought it around for Jane to see. Her smile got even wider and the tears disappeared from her eyes as she saw what it was. Instead of taking it from her father Jane ran forward and wrapped her arms around his neck.
“Thank-you daddy.” She whispered into his collar, breathing in the beautiful scent of his love.
“For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” – Matthew 6:14 (NIV)