The Sacrifice

No power short of that which love possesses is able to inspire the bliss and agony expressed within the pages of O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi.”  Love: timeless and eternal.  Della, the dubious heroine, illustrates the full range of emotions which love pulls her through.  Della finds herself “…flop[ping] down on the shabby little couch and howl[ing]” with despair at the thought of being unable to purchase a meaningful gift for her husband.  Her despair later gives way to an “ecstatic scream of joy.”

“The Gift of the Magi,” as a story, matters because it speaks to the bright mountaintops of our soul where love flourishes and spreads its wings; just as it speaks to those dark corners where fear maintains its stranglehold.

Gift of the Magi
Gift of the Magi

The significance is found through the locks of hair and tears dropping to the feet of a woman.  It is a gift that washes away all of the pain and despair: sacrifice.

The sacrifice of brilliant tresses for a husband.

The sacrifice of generations of memory for a wife.

The sacrifice of safety for the chance to honor a king.

The sacrifice of a Son for those who are unworthy.

The value of a gift is not on the tag it carries, but on the price one’s heart desires to pay.

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