A few years ago my wife gifted me the strangest of things for Christmas, a magnetic knife strip and four pairs of scissors. I remember opening the gift, looking at these five items, sitting together in a box, and giving her the best quizzical, confused look I could muster. It was very clear to me, in that moment, that my wife had simply dropped the ball. She’d run out of ideas for what makes her husband tick. I began to ponder what future Christmases would yield in the gift department, because really, when you’re getting a magnetic knife strip and scissors from your loved one, as their best effort to say, well, I Love You, you know things can only go downhill from there.
But then I listened as she explained the gift. “You’ve been selling a lot on the internet lately. I see you always misplacing and looking for scissors when packaging things up. Maybe this will help you get more organized.” She was right, I thought, maybe, tho honestly after some effort I can always find scissors, no matter how misplaced they may be. It still seemed like a dumb gift.
We set about finding a good place to mount the magnetic knife strip with its new supply of scissors, which ended up being right next the office computer. And also within arms reach of the boxes, bubble wrap, tape and printer labels I use to ship those packages. As I stood there, appreciating the handiwork of mounting the magnetic knife strip to the wall – a knife strip that holds no knives – and then hanging scissors to it, I began to ponder that perhaps this isn’t the most horrible gift after all.
And that is exactly what the gift has come to be.
In these past few years I’ve ended up using this magnetic knife strip, with the hanging scissors attached to it, almost daily, religiously replacing the scissors after each use. It has become as super convenient as my wife imagined, and likely saved me countless hours, and significant frustration, always looking for those oft misplaced cutting implements. Over time the magnetic knife strip’s utility has only grown; besides the original intent it now also houses a ruler, screwdrivers, a tape measure, and pliers too. In that time it’s evolved into my go-to spot, not just for shipping, but for cutting, measuring and fixing. I have come to absolutely love it. What I’d quickly judged initially as a bad gift has turned into, besides our two children, one of the best gifts my wife has ever gifted her husband.
So what changed? Well, over time, me. I needed to change. I needed to get more organized. But before then, before the shipping, and measuring, and fixing this magnet now encourages, there was my wife. She saw something in me, that organizational need, and went out of her way to help me with that exact deficit. She saw me for what I was, the chaotic, harried shipper, and set about to help make that into something more. She knew me, in short, better than I knew myself. She still does.
In Luke 12 scripture tells us that God too knows us deeply, even down to an ability to count the very number of hairs on our head. As a middle aged guy with a slowly receding hairline, that’s a constantly changing number, and unfortunately a dwindling one. God knows that number, keeping up with it in real time, even as it, at least for me, decreases. Such a mundane fact it seems, but also showing how intimately, how precisely the Divine knows us.
The scripture narrative in Luke 12 also talks of sparrows and small coins, little things. Yet these little things matter, and are cared for, by God. How much more are we worth, it continues, than sparrows, being cared for, and known, so deeply by our Creator?
So while I’m better organized now than in years past, I continue to be a work in progress. God knows, along with my slowly receding hairline, all about that, and knows so much more. And God sent a special partner, and gifted her with this insight, then setting about helping her to help her spouse in the most specific of ways. Like the brilliance of pairing a magnetic cutting board with scissors, all in the hopes of helping her husband become a better man. And for this, both to the Divine, and for my divinely awesome wife, I give thanks.
Dear Lord, thank you for the knowledge, and the intimacy you know us by, from the counting of hairs on our head, to what makes us tick, to at times even our unknown need of what to mount in the office. Thank you for this knowledge, and care, and for sending people all around us, to help show this care to us in the flesh. Give us eyes to see your handiwork all around us, for it is indeed there, in ways great and small. And give us your eyes, to help others, seeing them as your children, helping them, as guided by you. Amen.