The Gift of Faith

August 27, 2010 | 30 comments

The spinning rack of necklaces swivels under my fingertips, and I gaze at shiny things. Turning, turning.

The two daughters gaze into fluorescent-lit chambers, encasing silver baubles. They whisper, giggle.

I look for a certain cross necklace. I ask the clerk, and she says she doesn’t think they carry that cross anymore.

And I say that’s alright. Because there’s only one cross worth carrying anyway.

The clerk slips past me, to the daughters. I suck in my breath in nervous wonder: what have they rearranged or mishandled while I browsed?

The clerk leans in, and the youngest stands on tiptoes and cups hands around her mouth to whisper a secret. Little girls’ eyes dart at me, and yes of course, I’m eavesdropping.

The clerk unlocks the case, lifts the lid, and the oldest daughter aims a darting finger: That one.

The clerk turns, finds me watching. She mouths exaggerated words across the store: “They. Want. To. Buy. A. Charm. For. You.”

I hold up fingers, rub them together to ask her, How much?

The clerk raises both hands, fingers spread. Ten dollars.

I look over her shoulder. They’re counting the money already, pulling bills and coins from pockets and purses.

I nod my yes, and the knot in the throat rises.

For me. They want to buy it for me. For no reason, other than love.

I watch the clerk take their money, bill by bill, quarter by quarter. Whatever shiny thing she’s holding in her hand — I already know — I don’t really need it.

But my heart won’t let my feet move. Because how do you stop someone who wants to do the one thing that really counts: allowing faith to express itself through love?

I am a spectator to sacrifice; I am awash in the grace of giving.

And who can hold back the tears at such extravagance? Gratitude tumbles down wet, before I even open the gift. They hand me the box. We huddle outside the store’s front doors. The clerks are watching, too.

“Open it now, Mommy,” she coaxes.

I push pink tissue aside, reach in and pull a silver charm with a single word: FAITH.

“I picked it out,” the oldest claims, “because Anna can’t read.”

But the youngest steps closer. “I picked it out, too, Mommy. Because FAITH is a God-Word. And you like the God-Words.”

I slip the charm on the bracelet, and I wear my faith, and I hope that the God-Words in me are the most arresting things I wear all day.

“For it is by grace you have been saved,
through faith — and this not from yourselves,
it is the gift of God
— Ephesians 2:8

Father, Thank you for the gift of faith
and the eternal promise it carries.
May I wear it well.

by | August 27, 2010 | 30 comments


  1. Red Letter Believers

    Faith is a "God-Word". I love this. Only from the mouth of a babe could such a thing come.

    We do need to reclaim our language that has been co-opted by the world.

  2. Ann Kroeker

    Oh, my. A knot rose in the throat, too, at that very same moment as you told your story…their story.

    My goodness. Faith is a God-Word you are passing on to your daughters, who recognize them right away because you are speaking and living them.

    Wow. So, so, powerful and inspiring, Jennifer. And I love the photos!

  3. Chris Godfredsen

    Interesting, as I have been pouring over Hebrews 11 in the last couple of days – allowing it to pervade my being – that God would direct me to this blog this morning.

    Beautiful, this faith, this Jesus who beckons us to Himself.

    As always, I am moved by your post, but moved more by our God who connects dots when we are seeking Him…

    Grace and Peace be yours, by faith!

  4. Chris Godfredsen

    Interesting, as I have been pouring over Hebrews 11 in the last couple of days – allowing it to pervade my being – that God would direct me to this blog this morning.

    Beautiful, this faith, this Jesus who beckons us to Himself.

    As always, I am moved by your post, but moved more by our God who connects dots when we are seeking Him…

    Grace and Peace be yours, by faith!

  5. Deidra

    And there it is…my Friday morning cry.

    So sweet. They've got your genes!

  6. Sandra Heska King

    I'm totally done in now!

  7. Missy

    You are raising the most beautiful, kind-hearted little girls. Good Job momma!

  8. thesavingmomparents

    I found you through HCB. Love your post. Look forward to reading more.

  9. Beth.. One Blessed Nana

    oh, that our children and grandchildren know without a doubt that we love 'God-words'. I love this Jennifer and you are blessed!

  10. A Simple Country Girl

    Just look at the blooming legacy you are actively passing along to your girls!

    tears and lumps and ooohs and ahhhhs


  11. Angel

    You always touch the deepest heart places. Thank you for sharing such a sweet moment and all your God words.

  12. LisaShaw

    Hi Sister!

    I LOVED this!

    Indeed Faith is a GOD-WORD!

    Thanks for sharing! Hugs and love!

  13. Karen

    It can't get much sweeter than this….

  14. Melissa Runcie | Madabella

    so precious… and i love that "God-Word"…

  15. Connie Mace

    So much love…sacrificial, whole hearted giving…faith…GOD-Words…thank you for letting us share the moment.

  16. Catherine

    "God words" … those are the important ones, the life giving ones. The only ones worth speaking, in word or in deed. Your love of the Word is bearing fruit in these precious little ones.

    Catherine 🙂

  17. Graceful

    Oh I am melting at the sweetness of this story. Thank you for a breath of fresh air — and faith — tonight.

  18. mom2six

    And you do wear it well. And through the exercising of faith what a strong legacy you are passing on.

  19. Lyla Lindquist

    Knowing the backstory . . . I love this even more.

    Take a look at the picture of daughter #2 sometime. I don't know what it is. But there's something.

    Perhaps she couldn't read the word. It sure doesn't stop her from knowing it.

  20. elaine @ peace for the journey

    Faith expressed through love… what a beautiful grace. I've felt a bit of that this week.

    Blessed Sabbath rest to you and yours this weekend.


  21. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Thanks for dropping by, folks.

    David — Oooo … I love what you say here about reclaiming our language. Sounds like a future post. Would love to read more about that over at your place. 🙂

    Ann — Thanks! The photos were fun. Obviously, we took those after-the-fact when we were back at home. My eyes were too blurry with tears to take pictures in the actual moment. 🙂 However, a friend of mine who was along did shoot a couple pictures of this blubbering mama.

    Chris — I like that… A God who connects the dots. We can't see the whole picture, in its fullness until he does His thing!

  22. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Deidra & Sandra — Well that's only fair, seeing how you make me cry pretty regularly. 🙂 Thanks for your sweet comments.

    Missy — Thanks, sweetheart. You are so kind.

    Welcome, thesavingmomparents! It's always so fun to meet new people through the High Calling Blogs network. I look forward to connecting more with you, and am so glad you introduced yourself here. The network is a great place. Have fun engaging in the community.

    Thank you Beth and ASCG — You make me smile. 🙂

  23. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Oof… Elaine. I "ran some peace" today. Thought about you. Talked to God about you. I'm praying, you know. You live out this faith. Love you, friend.

    Lyla — You're part of that backstory. And I thank you, good friend.

    Angel, LisaShaw, Karen, Melissa, Connie, Catherine, Graceful and Mom2Six — You're all speakers of the God-Words. You ARE Living Letters. Thank you for dropping God-Words in this space. My love to each of you.

  24. HisFireFly

    KeeblerTried commenting the other day and my computer was having issues.

    I love the circle of faith that is building in your family.

    Tears flowed freely as I read this, the sweetness bore His fragrance.

  25. Debra

    Precious! Thank you for reminding to look for and savor those precious God moments with my daughters. To revel in them. And, I love God-words, too.

  26. Angie Vik

    I am blessed and encouraged by the gift of your words. Thanks for being a good storyteller. Blessings on what's left of your summer.

  27. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    HisFireFly — The circle we're building has a sign out front: Under Construction. We're not perfect. We usually don't get it right. And more often than not, it seems, the biggest lessons of faith come from the littlest ones. Yes, God has been good to us. Thanks for stopping by, my friend.

    Hey Debra, Amen! Pretty regularly, someone older (and wiser) says to us: "Enjoy your time with your kids. The years go fast." And we're learning how true that is. How about you?

    Hey Angie! Good to see you again. Thank you for your kind words.

  28. Amy DeTrempe

    What a sweet, wonderful story. I have my own tears to dab now.

  29. Jennifer

    Oh how I love the God words, too. Hoping my children grow up to understand my passion for God the way yours seem to understand.

  30. Anne Lang Bundy

    How could a gift which costs giver so much not be a treasure beyond measure?

    I am thinking of so many things right now, Jennifer. I am thinking of the widow and her two mites. I am thinking of a God Who gave His Son. I am thinking of the impossible tasks before me, with tears rolling down my cheeks.

    How I look forward to meeting you and your precious girls.


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