I lied to my mother. Yes, the woman to whom I owe my life. And it wasn’t a white lie, a “harmless” lie. No, this lie was more like a platinum lie. It was to her benefit. Not to spare her feelings or anything, but to really improve her life! Or, improve at least one day of her life.

It was a balmy 30°C (86°F) in Sydney. But I was on a flight to the Midwest where the mercury was hovering in the teens–Fahrenheit, unfortunately. The twenty-third of December. I had been in the Southern hemisphere for some months, and hadn’t told my mom that I would be home for Christmas. In fact, I’d lied and told her a much later date. I even drew an accomplice into my deceptive plot–my brother, my ride from the airport. Few could be trusted with this top-secret information, though. The rest of my family was in the dark.

On the flight back, I was nervous. Would she be mad? Would I be stealing something from her by not allowing her to prepare for my arrival? I could just hear it,”Oh, no! We don’t have enough presents under the tree! You should have told me!” Or, would my plot go unnoticed? “Oh. You’re back a little early. Very well, then.”

Thanks to my brother’s steering skills, we navigated the snowy route and arrived without incident at a once familiar white farmhouse. It glowed in the pitch-black countryside, with white Christmas lights in the eaves, and every window shining bright.

Exhausted from travel, but with heart racing, I entered. One by one, faces of family members brightened with recognition. Finally, my mom turned from her busyness and saw me. Magic! We embraced. There were tears and kisses. And she wouldn’t let me go.

I don’t condone lying. This, however, was worth the risks. My hopes came true and my fears dissolved. I flew from a sun-drenched summer into a harsh, biting winter and this hug was worth it.

I just read the Christmas story, for the millionth time. What struck me today was this: Jesus came to a cold, dirty manger. The long awaited King, sleeping in filth. THAT was surprising. He came because he LOVED us.

I have to ask myself, am I still willing to go great lengths for those I love?


Photo Credit: ranava.com