“Oh, man. Check that out,” I sighed.

“Wow, that’s really nice,” Mark admired. “Hey, it’s on sale. Let’s get it.”

I picked up the beautiful angel figure and turned it around in my hands. I ran my finger over its sweeping wings. On the hem of its robe was etched the word “Hope”. It seemed as though God had placed it in an obscure corner of the department store shelf just for us.

“Gee, that would fit right in with the name of our home shrine. The Hope of Our Father. Huh. Besides, we could sure use a little hope right now, couldn’t we?” I mused. “We should get it.”

“Okay, let’s do it,” Mark urged.

Then I changed my mind. “No. We can’t. We’re supposed to be getting Christmas presents for the kids, not for ourselves.” It was late in the evening on December 23, and we were running short on both time and cash. It just didn’t seem right to spend either on ourselves.

I put the angel back on the shelf. “Let’s check again after Christmas. It’ll probably go on clearance and we can get it then.”

“Yeah, you’re right,” Mark agreed.

On the day after Christmas, we held our Annual Fenelon Clan Christmas Open House – a joyful and crazy mix of family, friends new and old, conversation, laughter and goodies galore. Two of our closest friends weren’t feeling well and couldn’t make it but they sent their two teenage children to enjoy the revelry anyway.

As their daughter entered the house, she gave me a big smile, handed me a package and said, “Mrs. Fenelon, here’s something from my mom and dad.”

I thanked her, took the present and gently laid it aside for a later time when there wasn’t so much commotion. There were more guests making their way in the door and I needed to give them welcome.

Later that night after everyone had gone, we quickly picked up the house – at least enough to wade our way through without stumbling over something and to have a place to sit and have our morning coffee.

“Ahhhh. Finally a chance to sit quietly,” I said.

Mark collapsed in the living room with the boys. I handed him the gift from our friends and went back to the kitchen to tuck away a last thing or two. “Here. You open it. I’ll be right back.”

A couple minutes later, Mark called to me. “Margaret, come over here.”

I walked into the living room. Mark’s lap was full of wrapping paper. He was holding something in his hands and examining it carefully. Then he turned it around and held it up so I could see it.

Blinking back the tears, I started to chuckle. It was the same Angel of Hope over which we’d himmed and hawed three days ago!

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