by Rene Allen
Tawnya has done my hair for years. “You have a lot of hair,” she says. “But it’s really straight.” Because I am hair challenged, I have sat in her chair every five weeks since my son, who is now 23, was 12. I know about her daughters, where she goes for vacations, and that her father died a month ago. It was this last subject that we talked about during my most recent haircut, the day I brought her Christmas present since I wouldn’t see her again until after the holidays.
I’d given some thought to what I wanted to give her, wanting it to be meaningful. She is the embodiment of a “good Christian,” desiring to do that which is good and moral. She turns her problems over to God. During the last general conference, my husband and I were taken with Pres. Eyring’s talk about remembered blessings. Dwight was so impressed, he started a “Blessing Book,” similar to the one Pres. Eyring kept in which he recorded on a daily basis each day’s blessings. Perhaps, I thought, feeling that warm and certain impression myself that comes from a still small voice, I should give Tawnya a blessing book.
I printed a copy of Pres. Eyring’s talk and highlighted the story in it about his effort to write about how the Lord blessed his life and how he was doing this for his family. Then, I purchased an attractive journal, put the talk in it and on the card told her how I wanted her to have something that would last. Recording our blessings can change our lives, I wrote.
As Tawyna told me about her father she said “I feel so blessed.” A few days before he died, she had been impressed to tell her father about Jesus Christ and that repentance was never too late. “Every little thing you’ve done, pa-pa,” she said. “You don’t have to be afraid.”
Her father had a loud and colorful vocabulary. He was an alcoholic. Did he find peace before he died? I don’t know, but Tawnya repeated again how blessed she felt to have words come to her to comfort her father. “They weren’t my words,” she said. “I never would have thought to tell him about Jesus Christ.”
She looked at my gift. “Should I open it?”
I hesitated, wondering. There was laughter in the hall outside her door. I decided the gift would best be opened at home, where she would have time to read the story. There were too many distractions at the salon. “When you open it,” I said, “remember this conversation. Remember what we talked about. I can’t believe how in sync we are.”
But I could believe how in sync we were, and I knew why I had been prompted to get her a Blessing Book. It is that fine spirit of Christmas when our thoughts are turned to others’ happiness and we consider how to serve and bless them. She took the gift, and I felt the happy landing of a spiritual confirmation that I had heeded a prompting, and now, what happened next would be in the Lord’s hands.