I’ve recently and continue to spend a great deal of time reading books of the old, specifically those written by the oppressed. Those who were bombarded with adversity of all kinds…from the color of their skin, shape of their lips, texture of their hair, and speech. Those who were called names and treated as though they were less than human. The brilliancy of these authors and their pure and original thoughts are so prominent. This leads me to know without a doubt that no matter what I am faced with, the luminosity of God remains.
One piece of writing struck me so much so, that I shared several parts of it with compassionate and caring friends. The friends who are so dear to me, the ones who appreciate my nerdy, careful, and wholehearted self. The friends who offer me spaces to shout with joy, to read out loud, and to disperse my intensity pertaining to any given topic that I want more of in my life. The hopeful topics that make my heart tremble when the strain of life seems so heavy. The days I struggle, while trying to break the passing stride of rivers, with my feet. Those days, I must move closer to God’s light. That I may find strength for these days. My renewal…
The element I shared with friends focused on the acts of giving and receiving. It prefaced and built on the thought that one who gives should never boast about these gifts or acts of service. It discussed the idea that some who give enjoy the process but may have difficulty receiving. I know many sweet people who are like this…who would rather give than receive. The reading went much deeper than I share here. I’m elated!
This topic, I know, is not new to anyone. It has been ongoing since the beginning of time. Yet, in every instance it offers me the space where new perspectives arise in the shell of primary human functioning. At every instance where the act of refusal is present, emergence of questionable thoughts on why a gift is not easily accepted, moves into my mind. The passage is never dragged out, it is swift, and it is demanding. In addition to silent questions, I also think of what made me change into the person who readily accepts God’s gifts. The person who gives and now willingly receives. I work with this as conduit within these experiences.
Sometimes the quest of convincing someone to take a gift takes time. Though, there are some people who immediately agree…and I know now, when I enter the conversation with “what I give are not mine but of God”, these words resonate so much more. They held me. Yet, there are times I forget this, and do not bring this precious thought to the table. And, here is where the struggle begins.
I am always moved in my own spirit to not struggle with others. It is never fun to do so, and I find it a complete waste of time. Every moment is so prized as every moment in my life must count. I’d rather not let a minute be one of emotional discomfort. God’s gifts abound. He uses us to deliver to those in need. Need is not always tangible and often the intangibles are most appreciated. When I approach my desire to give to a prospective receiver, it is so important to speak on the abundance God gives. I must recognize this in my heart. I must never forget.
At the moment I chose to write briefly on this topic. As I began, I received a text from a dear friend. She shared how much she appreciates me giving her my time in getting her recent nonprofit paperwork ready. She then said, once the center in the Southern region of the United States is in full swing, she’ll arrange for me to visit to experience what I helped to create. I received! Received…with no hesitancy. I responded with, “I accept.”
This reminder from God fueled my drive with you today. The drive where I saw God’s beautiful gifts even in the office I sit. The Blue Jays have come to my window as if to say hello. The remaining snow on the lawn, the last bit of rust colored leaves hanging down, and the pine trees, never selfish in delivering their aroma to me.
I give and yes, I receive. And, I am thankful!
“As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” ~ 1 Peter 4:10
Give and be willing to receive. Remain thankful!
Thank you, all Veterans for your limitless service!
With all my love,