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Love Your Neighbor

4. The surprise


For the next week, Lisa spent almost all of her free time in her room sketching. Larry and her mom and dad were wondering how she was coming along with her sketches. Lisa didn’t show any of the sketches to her family.


On Saturday after breakfast, Mrs. Lewis decided to ask Lisa how her sketches were coming along.


Mrs. Lewis asked, “Lisa, why don’t you want to show us any of your sketches? We know you’ve been working on them a lot this week.”


Lisa said, “I hope they are as good as they need to be. I want them to be a surprise.”


Lisa’s dad said, “Lisa, you need to remember that God has given you a gift of drawing. No one is going to judge you. It seems like almost every single month you get better and better. But if God is asking you to give your sketches to someone, the gift will be received with love.”


Lisa sat at the table, quiet, for a few minutes. Lisa’s family knew that this was very difficult for her. It was difficult because her heart was to give a gift that was really meaningful, but she wasn’t sure whether the quality would be good enough.


Finally, Lisa said, “Grandpa, told us that this coming Thursday is the 10th anniversary of when his wife died. If possible, I would like to give my gift to Grandpa on that day.”


Larry asked, “So, Lisa what is it? I mean, I know it’s something that you sketched, but what’s in the picture?”


Lisa wasn’t sure whether she should show the picture to her family before she brought it over to Grandpa. She thought, if it wasn’t very good, her family probably would say something, and then she wouldn’t want to give it to Grandpa. However, if she just brought it over to Grandpa, Lisa wouldn’t know whether it really was a good sketching or not before she actually gave it to him. So what was Lisa to do?


Finally, Lisa said, “I’ve made a decision. I am just going to bring it over to Grandpa’s house on Thursday and give it to him. It will just have to be a surprise not only to him, but everybody else.


That afternoon Lisa called Grandpa up on the phone and asked him if she could stop by on Thursday evening. She said she had something she would like to give to him.


Grandpa told Lisa that he was free on Thursday evening, and that she could come by after dinner. Lisa asked if 8 o’clock was fine. Grandpa said that would be a really good time. He was really excited to see her.


Lisa was still really secretive of what her sketch was. She asked if her mom or dad could take her down to the store to get a frame to put it in, but she didn’t want anybody to go into the store to see the sketch when she put it in the frame. Lisa’s dad said that he would take her to the store.


Each day leading up to Thursday, Lisa’s family could tell that she was very anxious.


After dinner was over on Thursday evening, Lisa was getting ready to go over to Grandpa’s house. Larry and Lisa’s parents asked if they could go with her. Lisa said she would like that.


When Lisa and her family arrived at Grandpa’s house, he greeted them very joyfully.


Grandpa said, “I am so happy to have you all here tonight. I wanted to tell you all something and I’m glad that I can tell you today. I know you never met my wife. I think I remembered mentioning to Lisa and Larry last week that this was the 10th anniversary of when she died. I’m still not comfortable talking about what happened when she died, but I do want to let you know that God is giving me comfort today. I’m believing that God has something special for me today.”


Lisa started to cry. She wasn’t sure whether she was going to be able to make it through the presentation of her gift to Grandpa.


Grandpa said, “Let’s all go into the living room.”


After they were in the living room, Lisa handed a bag to grandpa and said, “Here are the pictures that I borrowed from you last week. I really appreciate you letting me use them.”


Grandpa said, “It was a pleasure. I am so glad you enjoyed using them for your sketching projects.”


Then, Lisa, still trying to hold back her tears, gave the wrapped gift to Grandpa.


Lisa said, “We all love you very much, Grandpa, and I hope this gift will bless you on this very difficult anniversary.”


Grandpa opened up the gift, he held it in his hands and looked at it very carefully. Grandpa started to cry.


Grandpa said, “This is the most amazing sketch I have ever seen in my life. It is so life-like.”


Then Grandpa looked at Lisa and said, “How were you ever able to capture my wife’s beautiful face. I remember you told me that in the picture it seemed like she could start talking to you right out of the picture. I would have to say that your sketch captured that look perfectly.”


When grandpa turned the picture around so that everybody else could see it, Lisa‘s family was amazed. She had captured in one picture, Grandpa, his loving wife, and Happy, their dog.


Grandpa said, “Thank you, Lisa. This is truly an amazing gift and it’s exactly what I needed today. I will hang it on the wall and it will remind me of all of the wonderful memories that I had with my precious wife, and Happy, my faithful companion. You have truly made me the happiest man in the world today. Thank you.”

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