Faces on Faith: Finding the right gift
For many people this is the season when we gift others family, friends, work associates, and those less fortunate than us. The challenges of this habit trying to find the right gift at the right price – are far outweighed by the joy that fills our hearts when we see the delight on someone’s face as they open our gift and say: “How did you know? Thank you!”
Many of the gifts we give are tangible. Perhaps we do well to also consider gifts of the spirit that we can give to others.
For example, every day we have opportunities to gift someone with our attitudes and actions of acceptance.
Jean Vanier founded the L”Arche Communities (www.larcheusa.org/who-we-are/communities/) that care for physically challenged people. He has written:
“To love someone is not first of all to do things for them, but to reveal to them their beauty and value, to say to them through our attitude: ‘You are beautiful. You are important. I trust you. You can trust yourself. To love someone is to reveal to them their capacities for life, the light that is shining in them.” “
Years ago I read an article about a boy in the Buffalo, New York school system that made a dramatic academic turn around.
Upon examination as to why, it was discovered that the pivot point occurred the day his shop teacher placed a hand on his shoulder and said something like “You are one of the best students in this class.”
On the surface it was a casual encounter, but the affirmation was a deep spiritual gift to the young student that motivated his choosing to do better.
One of my favorite Christmas hymns is Christina Rossetti’s – In the Bleak Midwinter. Musing about what gift she might give the Christ child she writes:
“What can I give Him, Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a wise man, I would do my part;
Yet, what I can I give Him—Give my heart.”
It occurs to me that the best we can give God is ourselves and a God-like way of gifting others is to reveal to them their capacities for life.
God bless you everyone! And may we, each one, bless and gift another person by revealing to them their beauty and value.
– Pastor George Morris, Captiva Chapel by the Sea