Ask anyone that really knows me, I'm not much for saving things.  If it's been here a year and it's not dear then it is gone.  Preserving times through sentiments of sentimentality I lack in doing greatly.  I don't have picture albums or scrapbooks. Maybe I should.  Though ultimately it's no doubt better this way in the long run.  It's less stuff for children, who follow up after our stuff after we die, to deal with.  I don't know if the handling of a loved ones belongings and pictures and things are a blessing or a curse to those whose care it is left to.  I'm probably not the best judge of that as I am prone to view it totally through my minimalistic stuff way of living and crammed to the hilt love of people way of thinking.

As I have aged belongings really have become less and less meaningful.  Seen through my lens of stuff it is just another category to keep track of.  I want less to keep track of as I age.  I have a sneaking suspicion that as I lay in the final days of my life I won't be thinking about possessions or regrets that I didn't acquire enough of them. 

If all of life at death is like a funnel then I will think about the relationships that I invested in, or didn't invest in.  I will think about if I did enough for others.  Did who I was and what I was given by God leave people better than I found them?  Did I fulfill, or try to fulfill, God's design for my life?

So, stuff is stuff.  It is not alive.

Christmas has always been a bit of a struggle for me in the gift category.  Gifts really are not my love language.  Relationships are.  Love is.  Love expressed in words and time spent, in being valued every day and in giving value to others.  That's always the perfect gift for me and probably the one I want to give to others as my gift to them. Though maybe they would prefer more boxed and wrapped gifts!

I've stood at relatives auctions as their entire collection of stuff, of belongings, of a lifetime of things are laid on a table, stacked on tables and called out for a bidder.  It's a poignant experience.  Everything falls away at some point.  Stuff does too.  It is bought by strangers who have no connection to the person, no sentiment attached to the object. 

Living things, relationships, go on even after death.  The imprint of a person on us never leaves.  Sometimes in grief we might wish for a reprieve from it, but that gift of presence outlives inanimate objects.  It's the wash we leave behind us on others.  That's why grief of people is so intense and sharp. 

I thought about God today and His gift to us at Christmas, His son Jesus. 

Stuff tries to trump relationships even in a holiday that is the result of the human birth of God's son, Jesus.  God gave us something that is lasting.  Something that is not sold on an auction table that shows its invaluable unlastingness.  He didn't give us one more "thing", "object", or "product" that would be inanimate.  He gave us a relational gift - the kind that lasts forever.  Something three dimensional.  He gave us a way to be in a relationship with God Himself and to feel His great love for us. He gave us Jesus, the Saviour of the world.  He came to save us from all kinds of "stuff".

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