The Snow Globe – A Parable

By Stephen Terry


“Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27, NIV

A grandfather who loved his grand-daughter very, very much once gave her a precious Christmas gift. Her eyes widened to see the dancing snow in the crystal globe as she held the present in her hands. The gift had been in the family for several generations and the wood base had a patina of love from the many hands that had held it.

Artificial snow swirled around miniature buildings, trees, people and animals. She immediately fell in love with this very special gift. It was hard to take her eyes away from the peacefully drifting snowflakes. She loved her grandfather for giving her such a wonderful gift. She decided she would do all she could to show how much she appreciated his gift. From that Christmas to the next, she made a study of showing her grandfather how much the gift meant to her.

When the next Christmas came and Grandfather visited again, he was surprised to see how much his grand-daughter had changed. She would not play table games with the other children. She was very particular in what she wore. She would only go outside when it was snowing. She refused the treats of the season like candy canes and hot chocolate. Her behavior was peculiarly unlike the little girl of a year before.

Puzzled about her behavior, he sat down beside her in her bedroom and asked her about the changes. Continually turning the little globe in her hands as though she were fearful the snow would stop, she lifted her head until her eyes met his.

“It is easy to explain, Grandfather,” she replied. “I want you to know how much I value this gift, and how much I love you for it. I have decided to avoid participating in things that do not appear in the globe. There are no table games in the globe, so I do not do them. The people in the snow globe dress a certain way, so I try to dress the same. It is always snowing in the globe, so I try to only go outside when it is snowing. You see, I love the globe so much that I want to live as though I was in the globe. And by doing that, I am showing my love for you also.”

“But wouldn’t you like to do other things?” he asked.

“Well, yes,” she admitted. “But I want you to see that all my pleasure is in the beautiful present you gave me and not in other things. That is also why I do not help myself to candy canes and hot chocolate. It would look too much like I was enjoying something else other than the beautiful globe.”

“My child, I am sorry now that I placed this gift in your hands. I meant it to be a blessing to you, a thing of joy. Instead, it has become a burden. I meant to give the gift to you, not you to the gift. Must I take it away to set you free?”

Startled at his words, she thought for a few minutes, and then said, “I see what you mean. When you gave me the gift, you intended for me to find pleasure in its beauty but you did not intend for that to be my only pleasure. Am I right?”

“Yes,” he replied, “I know you love the gift. I see your joy in your eyes, but the happiness I have in seeing your joy is not diminished when I see your joy in other things. You see, when I was your age, I found joy in many things. I still do, and I want you to have those joys also. Please do not let the gift keep you from those experiences. It was meant to be a blessing and not a burden.”

“Thank you, Grandfather. I see now that the real gift was not the snow globe, but understanding how to truly show my thanks for the love you have for me every day.”

With that, she placed the snow globe in its special place on her bedroom dresser and ran to join the other children in a game of hide-and-seek.




This Parable is Provided by Still Waters Ministry