Today was Peter's birthday. He quickly put on his clothes and went down stairs. Even before he reached the kitchen, he could smell the good home made biscuits baking in the oven.
Peter loved 'morning time' in his house. He looked forward to mama's warm smile that always greeted him. He never knew his Dad, but Grandpa Jake was just like a Dad and Peter was glad that his grandpa lived with them.
"So, we've got ourselves a birthday boy today, don't we?" His grandpa's eyes twinkled over his old horn rimmed glasses when he spoke to his grandson who had entered the kitchen and sat down at the kitchen table.
"Yup, you sure do grandpa." The young boy replied with a big smile.
"How old are you son?" Grandpa Jake asked, with a grin.
"Six!" Peter replied proudly, putting up six fingers.
Peter's mother sat down at the table and after they said grace, they all began to eat.
"Peter," his mother said, "what would you like for your birthday?" Peter didn't take even a moment to think before he eagerly replied.
"I'd like that pretty blue bike in Parson's Department Store window."
"Well now," his mother replied, "as I remember, that bike costs a lot of money and we did talk about that...do you remember?"
Peter looked at his mother and nodded, "uh huh...I remember, but that's what I'd like."
His mother stopped eating and stared thoughtfully at her son, then she asked,
"Peter, why do you like that club house out back so much?"
Peter swallowed the food in his mouth. "I...I guess," there was a little frown on his brow, "I think...it's because grandpa and I made it together...with our own hands." He turned to his grandfather with a satisfied look on his face. "Right grandpa?" His grandfather gave him a quick wink and a smile and nodded in his head in agreement.
The three of them finished breakfast without anymore talking. His grandfather got up first and went out towards the back of the house. Mama got up and began clearing the table and Peter helped her.
"Peter, Do you remember that old bike at Mr. Dole's Second Hand Shop?" His mother asked.
Peter looked at his mother. "Yes, I do. What about it?"
"Why don't you go out back," his mother smiled at him, "your grandpa has a big surprise for you."
Peter stood still. His eyes followed his mother's movements as she continued cleaning up the kitchen. His heart sank and his shoulders slumped. In his mind he saw that old rusty bike that had been in the same spot, for what seemed like, forever. The color had long ago faded away and it had only one wheel and no seat.
Peter tried hard not to show his disappointment, as he slowly made his way to the back of the house. When he opened the door and went outside, he kept his eyes on his shoes as he rounded the corner of the house to the back yard. He took his time raising his head, but as he did, his eyes and mouth both opened wide and then wider. For there was his Grandpa Jake standing next to the prettiest blue bike he had ever seen! Why, it was even prettier than the one in Parson's Depatment Store window! There was a streak of white in the pretty blue and there were brand new wheels and a fine white seat sitting in the midst of shinny chrome that was so bright, the sunlight danced upon it with rainbow colors.
"Oh grandpa!" Peter yelled, as he ran towards his grandfather, who scooped him up in his arms. "I love you grandpa." Peter said over and over again, as he hugged his grandfather with all his might.
"I love you too, son, " Grandpa Jake replied hugging his grandson back, "I love you too."
Many years later as Peter's mother sat in a front row pew next to his grandfather, who was in a wheelchair, His grandfather's eyes filled with tears as he listened to Peter, who began his trial sermon, speaking from the pulpit.
"My text is taken from the book of 1 Corn 13:13 and I am reminded this morning of a wonderful blue bike...the best birthday present I've ever received. I was only six years old but I never forgot it... for that gift taught me something...it taught me of the sacrifice that goes into...loving. And so, I am reminded today of another sacrifice that I can never forget...a sacrifice that was made not only for me, but for all mankind...a timeless...'gift of love'."