The Ol’ Crisco Can

Dear Reader, I wrote the following in December of 2009 and it was originally published in my weekly newspaper column.  I thought you might enjoy it.

My grandma was born in 1902, and she lived to be 96 years old.  When she died, the pastor preached from Proverbs 31. My grandma met all of the Proverbs 31 qualifications, and I was so proud of her.

Grandma lived through the depression.  She was actually sent to live with a doctor and his family because there were too many mouths to feed at her house.  She worked for the doctor and his family; in turn, they fed her and gave her a place to live. Grandma didn’t smile a lot.  She was kind of a no-nonsense woman, but you couldn’t outwork my grandma.

She was a toughie, and oh, what a cook!  My grandma didn’t go through the drive-thru for her Sunday meal.  She chopped the chicken’s head, plucked his feathers, and fired him up for her noon meal.

My grandma asked me one Christmas what I wanted for a gift and I told her, “Cookies.”  My mom didn’t inherit my grandma’s love for cooking, and I thought my grandma’s homemade cookies were sent straight from God himself.

So one Christmas, she took an old Crisco container, wrapped it in wrapping paper, stuck a bow on the plastic lid, and that was my Christmas present.  The cookies and a $10 bill. After Christmas was over and the cookies were long gone, I saw the container in our storage room. I asked my mom about it and she said grandma wanted to save it for next year’s cookie gift.  As I said, she was a no-nonsense woman. Why waste money on a new container when she already had one?

That same container went through about seven Christmas cookie deliveries.  Every year it was $10 and a Crisco can full of homemade cookies. I loved every last one of those cookies and I loved Grandma for saying she loved me in her own practical way.

A few years ago I counted and my four-year-old son received twenty-seven presents from family and friends.  Three of them were from Chad and me. I wondered what he would think if all that was under the tree for him was an old Crisco can full of cookies.  I’m sorry to tell you, I think he’d be upset. He’d probably ask where the real presents were.

Don’t you think think that’s a little bit what the world does when it looks at God?  The world wants sparkle, pizzazz, something new, something better, something bigger! “That God you’re serving, He’s so old and out of touch. That Bible you’re reading, how could it possibly apply to today’s world?”  And just like when I opened up that old Crisco can, there’s a treasure inside that Bible and a treasure wrapped up in our God no amount of money or new fancy gadgets could ever compare.

Dear God, may we always be in awe and wonder of You.  May we dig deep and find what is inside of You: the gift you truly want us to receive.

Until next Wednesday, Lord willing.