I know, I know.
He Remembers the Barren is not exactly the kind of gift you want to wrap up and put under the tree for your loved one. Who wants to open a package and find this inside instead of something from Williams-Sonoma?
I mean, did you see the cover? Talk about awkward when everyone else around the tree stops and asks your loved one, “Ooo, what did you get?”
And, let’s be honest, the book doesn’t exactly make a great stocking stuffer, either. It would go over like a detonated grenade amongst the dark chocolate, fuzzy socks, and iTunes gift cards.
Yet, I still think He Remembers the Barren is a good gift worthy of giving, because the holidays can be one of the most difficult times of the year for a barren woman. She can’t escape her grief when she is surrounded by children’s Christmas programs at church, family dinners galore, and greeting cards introducing everybody else’s newest editions to their families; she has to endure renditions of Connie Francis’s “Baby’s First Christmas” over the sound system whenever she goes shopping; she has to maintain her game face for an entire month’s worth of watching other people’s children enjoy the festivities and holiday traditions. It can be rough.
So, please consider giving your loved one He Remembers the Barren this season of Advent, but use some of your James Bond-esque stealth in the giving. Here are some suggested tactics (Q and M approved, of course):
- Read the book yourself, so that you know what your loved one is going through and can better love her through her grief and suffering.
- Give the book to your loved one’s parents, siblings, pastor, etc. for the same reasons.
- Write a note to go with the book (i.e. “This book is not a label or a judgment. It is a great big hug from me to you. I read it, and it helped me know that God remembers me even when I suffer. I thought it might help you, too. I love you.”)
- Give her the book in private and at a time when she does not need to be around people for awhile. You can mail it to her home, or you can hand it to her wrapped and tell her to wait until she is alone to open it.
- If you two already have a history of openly discussing her barrenness, then give it to her in person when it is just the two of you. And tell her what she means to you.
- Once you give it to her, don’t bring it up. Wait for her to talk about it or not talk about it.
- Don’t be offended if she doesn’t read it for awhile. Depending on what phase of the grief cycle she is currently experiencing, she may want nothing to do with it at first. She might even be embarrassed or offended. Still, won’t it be nice that the book will be there for her when she is ready for it?
Thank you for caring enough for your loved one to do what is hard. She is blessed to have you in her life.