Donating intentionally to charities is a common occurrence. People donate dollars and gifts-in-kind to charities of their choice. But Jane and Brian Lowe in Halifax, Nova Scotia have major regrets about the gift they didn’t intend to give. They never intended to donate $50,000 worth of diamonds, pearls and gold jewelry to Diabetes Canada. It was a huge gift and they are trying to reclaim it.

The Lowes were heading out-of-town for a little vacation and as a precaution, they thought it would be wise to secure their valuables in an unlikely place in their home, in the event of a break-in. Jane asked her husband to look after it as always. He carefully gathered up the valuables in a freezer bag – “a strand of pearls Lowe’s father had given her when she was 13, a pendant with a diamond and emerald of a “significant” size, a platinum and diamond ring, a diamond and aquamarine pendant and earring set, gold and pearl mabé​ earrings, diamond and amethyst earrings, four gold bracelets, including one with diamonds, and other gold pieces.”(1)

Mr. Lowe took the Ziploc bag of precious valuables to their attic and found a larger bag filled with older clothing. He placed the valuables “deep inside that bag. No criminal would bother with a bag of clothing eventually destined for a Thrift Store. 

Just before they headed out on their trip, Jane decided to call Diabetes Canada and have them pick up a few bags of clothing they no longer needed – six bags to be exact. She placed the bags from the attic on the doorstep for pick-up.

The Lowes headed out on their vacation. A couple of weeks later, and home from their trip, Jane Lowe was getting dressed for a party. Now was the time for her jewelry.

Jane asked: “Where’s my jewelry?” Brian said, “It’s in one of the bags in the attic.” “And then we realized what had happened. I felt sick. Because there’s no getting around it. I had gotten rid of the bags of clothes,” Jane said. (2)

It’s true – much of the jewelry could be replaced if one had the money, but then there were some other treasures that money could never replace —  the ones saturated with memories.

Lowe called Diabetes Canada and shared her predicament with them. To the best of their knowledge, the bags had been shipped to a Value Village Store in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Value Village staff were unable to trace the mistaken gift and wondered if the bags may have been shipped-off to Africa where summer clothes were needed.

In addition to the family offering a reward of several thousand dollars for the return of the jewelry bag, Jane Lowe has contacted “about eight Value Village stores in the region and the headquarters in B.C. She has also been in touch with pawn shops, and has been keeping an eye on Kijiji. She also filed a police report.” (3)

The bottom line is this – Diabetes Canada was given a huge gift but there was nothing intentional or altruistic about it. In fact, the donor is doing all in her power to rescind and recover the gift and have it returned. It was a total mistake.

Contrast that mistaken gift with a far greater gift – and consider it from a spiritual perspective. The big story of the Bible is that God gave the Gift that defies all human measurement and appraisal values. He gave the Gift to be an incredible eternal blessing to people who never deserved the slightest favour from God – not to mention the greatest Gift. And, He gave the Gift intentionally and deliberately – out of amazing love for poor sinners.

Some show utter disdain for the Gift and actually curse the Gift. Others ignore the Gift and get on with their lives – placing absolutely zero-value on the greatest Gift of all times ever given. But despite such a miserable and unthankful response – God never canceled the Gift. God never recalled the Gift.

His Gift was intentional and purposeful. He gave the Gift out of love, whether the intended recipients ever reciprocated by embracing the Gift with gratitude.

More valuable than the purest gold, the whitest pearls or the rarest diamonds – God’s Gift to you and to me is nothing less than His Son Jesus Christ and eternal life through Him. Consider carefully what God wants you to know. Here is His Word – the Holy Bible.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV
This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1John 4:10 NIV
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 NIV
To all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. John 1:12 ESV

What is your response to God’s Gift?

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  2. ibid
  3. ibid