Sixteen Days Until Christmas

Our Father gave His Son, Christ gave His Life, what gifts will we give?


Then said Jesus, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.  John 8: 31-32

When I was young I loved to fly kites.  Every spring my brothers and I bought cheap, tisssue paper kites and put them together.  The sticks that formed the frame of the kite were light weight and were easily broken.  The cross piece had to be bent just so to give the kite its shape without actually snapping in two.  But if we were careful once the kite was put together the parts strengthened the whole.

The tail was a whole other problem.  Did I need to add a tail?  If so, how long?  Sometimes it seemed like I tied strips of cloth together until I had a tail several yards long.  Then I had to begin shortening the tail until I reached the happy point where the tail was long enough to help balance my kite, but not so long that it dragged it down.

The best part of kite flying is of course getting the kite up into the air.  I remember running back and forth, pulling the kite behind me–dragging it across the ground sometimes, and hardly getting any lift by myself.  But if my big brother held the kite up high while I ran out with the string he could let it go while I ran and the kite would launch up into the air.

As the kite climbs the string unrolls, allowing the kite to climb higher and higher.  Even while it’s climbing the kite cannot be left to itself.  I had to keep the proper tension on the string or the kite dipped and dove.  Finally I would arrive at the end of my string (luckily not the end of my rope!) and I watched the kite floating, tugging against the string, high up in the sky.

I could lay on the ground holding the end of the string and watch the kite forever.  But occasionaly the string broke and the kite began to buck and dip.  I wondered why once it was free the kite didn’t simply float higher and higher until it was out of sight.  But that never happened.  Without the string the kite always plunged back to earth, broken and torn.

It’s funny isn’t it?

The kite string is like the Word of God.  Sometimes we think the word is holding us down.  Think of the places we could go if we had no restrictions.  But a life lived without restraint is likely to end up broken and torn.

Rather than holding us down, the Word of God, like the kite string, grounds us, gives us a firm foundation, and allows us to soar to the heights.  The Word of God teaches us the truth, which makes us free.  I like to think of truth or the Word as that string connecting us to heaven, giving us balance and direction.  If we put our lives in God’s hands nothing is impossible.

Truth, a magical gift.

Merry Christmas!


About Karen Hopkins

Karen Hopkins (1949-) was born in Los Angeles and raised in Martinez, California. At seventeen she moved to Talcahuano, Chile. After completing her university degree she worked in London, England for Pan American Airlines and traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Middle East, and India. For twenty-six years Karen taught Spanish and English as a Second Language in a variety of settings including a private school in Panama, the "most remote school in the United States" in Ticaboo, Utah, the Navajo Reservation, and a teacher exchange in Hermosillo, Mexico. Karen and her husband traveled extensively throughout Mexico and Central America, spending many summers in the highlands of Chiapas and Guatemala . Karen currently lives in Southern Arizona, near the Mexican border.
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