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Answering a Cynic


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Among the goodies opened last night:

Now I can see what that story we read last night was all about. No, not that story, this story. But speaking of that story, last week I posted a link to this cynical angle on O. Henry’s classic tale. Humorous, I thought, but wrong.

True, Della’s hair will grow back. Also true, Jim’s watch is gone. Sure, he can conceivably buy it back, but it will most likely be long gone before he can save that much. He might as well forget it. But like Della’s hair, which will grow back to receive the combs, he will eventually get another watch to join the fob. It won’t be the watch, but it will be a watch, and for all intents and purposes, they will eventually realize what they had intended that Christmas Eve. Yes, Jim’s sacrifice is greater—which, in the Christ & church/husband & wife metaphor, is perfectly reasonable—but, because of love, that places a greater burden of regret upon Della than Jim. However, and also because of the love that flows in both directions, there need be no regret on either part, but rather a three-fold joy: first, the joy of giving; second, the joy of receiving; and third, the joy of observing the other’s pleasure in both giving and receiving.

This year was our twentieth Christmas reading of The Gift of the Magi. I guess we’ll ignore the cynics and continue.



Posted 2009·12·25 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Christmas · Courtship & Marriage · Love · O Henry

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