I'm the kind of person who skips to the conversation when reading a book.
One of my favorite websites is The Rabbit Room. I could write a whole post, maybe even two, on the reasons why, but I’ll save that for another time. Suffice it to say, it’s the community — and we all long for community, don’t we?
At Christmas time, Pete, the proprietor and congenial host of all things Rabbit Room, organized a Christmas gift exchange. Since I like to live on the wild side, I threw my name into the hat. A few weeks later, I was sent the name of a woman in Wisconsin to whom I was to send a gift. I really knew nothing about Cheryl except that she loved The Rabbit Room like I did.
Around the same time (I really can’t remember if it was before or after this) the Rabbit Room announced that they had gotten 40 Rabbit Room mugs. The mugs sold out in some amazingly short time, but, on impulse, I submitted an order for one just before they were gone. I immediately felt guilty over the whole thing. I sent Pete an email that said:
Pete — Go ahead and give my mug to someone else. I hate to think of so many disappointed people.
Pete replied with an email (since deleted) that said something along the lines of — No worries. We oversold, and I’m 90% sure that you are one of the people to whom I would be sending an email shortly explaining the situation and apologizing.
Imagine my surprise when I got my mug a week later. I looked at the earthy beauty of the simple mug and wondered who should receive such a gift from me. I decided on my sister, one of the people I love most in the whole world.
Then, the gift exchange happened. I had picked up a hand crafted mug at a local artisan shop to send to my Rabbit Room Secret Santa person. I baked some cookies and picked up a few other little odds and ends. As I packaged up the box, I felt a niggling.
“Give her the Rabbit Room mug,” a Still Small Voice whispered in my heart.
“I already decided, Lord, to give that to my sister,” I explained, and continued trying to pack my little box.
“Give her the mug,” He repeated.
“I’m giving her this other one, Lord. It’s the same style, the same color, nearly identical. It just doesn’t say Rabbit Room on it,” I said. “I think it will be fine.”
“Give her the mug.” The Voice was insistent.
I pictured my sister’s cupboards, overflowing with mugs I had given her through the years. Maybe next year, if I go to Hutchmoot, I could pick one up there for my sister. I repackaged the box to Wisconsin with the Rabbit Room mug, and smiled while I did so. It was such a good feeling.
The other day I received a note in the mail. Cheryl sent it. She said,
… When I saw the top of the mug, I thought “What a great idea! I’m thinking about doing that, too.”… Then when I lifted the mug out of the box and saw it was a Rabbit Room mug, tears sprang to my eyes. The tears were for two reasons: 1) I never thought I’d be able to get one. They sell out so fast. 2) The mug represents what an awesome wonderful online community that I think the Rabbit Room is. It’s very nice to have something to look at daily to remind me. Thank you.
What did Jesus say? Something about it being more blessed to give than receive? All I can say is, thank you, Pete; thank you, Rabbit Room; thank you, God. I was incredibly blessed by playing a small part in a beautiful thing.