the Giver

I went to the funeral of my dear friend’s mother last week.  She was an incredible woman- beautiful, wise, kind, hospitable.  She will be deeply, deeply missed.  At the service, the pastor read a letter written by Rosy- and her words affected my profoundly.  She was such a wise woman.  I am so glad I was blessed to know her.

One thing she said has stuck with me.  It was so simple it seems obvious, and yet, it was profound.

If we acknowledge it as a gift, we must acknowledge the Giver.
– Rosamound Hodnett Jenkins

There is so much here.  I am only just beginning to unpack it.

A gift…
What IS a gift?  Christmas is a time of year when we are inundated by the word “gift.”  In a way, it has become a euphemism for the rampant consumerism our Western culture has chosen to embrace.  When we think gift, we think products.  Merchandise.  Something tactile, wrapped up and presented with a bow and a card.  And yet, isn’t the true value of the gift not the thing itself, but the thought and love put into its purchase?  My hope, with each gift I give, is a message of affection.  I choose my gifts carefully, wanting to validate who they are as a person with something they would like.  Not just stuff to clutter up their lives.  My hope is that the gift says not only “I love you”  but “I see you.”  Isn’t that what we want from God as well?

If we acknowledge it as a gift…
We have all been given gifts.  In fact, everything we have is a gift.  Our lives, our loved ones.  Our experiences, memories, possessions, the era of humanity we occupy today.  The breath of air you just took.  We are so richly, deeply blessed.  Beyond anything we can imagine, and impossibly beyond anything we deserve.  And yet, how often do we stop and marvel?

Funerals can be one of those times.  Have you ever noticed that funerals are often called A Celebration of Life?  Why do we wait until someone dies to celebrate life? Shouldn’t we make celebration a part of our practice as Christians?

As a mother of 2 little ones, I am blessed with 100 miracles a day.  The giggles of my baby girl.  The kisses my toddler gives.  Mispronounced words and the opportunity to hear the world interpreted through the eyes of a 3 year old.  Lingering meals neccessitated by the slow pace spoon feeding requires.  Tiny socks.  I want to resolve to begin celebrating my life more.  Living a life of thankfulness. Acknowledging the precious moments I am given each day as a gift, and in return, thanking the Giver.

If we acknowledge it as a gift, we must acknowledge the Giver.
The Bible makes it clear: we are all created as individuals, and each of us has talents, interests, and capabilities that make us unique.  There has never been anyone like you, and there never will be.  Yet, I have spent most of my life trying to blend in with the crowd.  Following trends and social mores instead of celebrating my uniqueness.

Too often, we hide our lights under a bushel.  We are afraid to sing, or to paint or to love math because we don’t want to seem proud.  We don’t want to brag.  We know there is someone out there in the world who is better than us, so why act like we are good at something in the first place?

And yet, our talents are not truly our talents.  They are gifts.  Abilities and passions given to us by God.  Given to YOU- on purpose.  So therefore using that gift, owning that gift, sharing that gift with others isn’t an act of self promotion or pride, instead, it is an act of worship.

So go.  Play baseball.  Build a table.  Write a song.  Bake cookies with your children.  And do it with joyful abandon, knowing that you are using the gift given to you by the Giver.  You were created that way on purpose.  God knows the things you love to do.  Doing them, and doing them joyfully, is an act of thanksgiving.  giftCenterPresentBow


One thought on “the Giver

  1. This was lovely! I purposely saved it until I had a quiet moment to really sit down and read, not just skim over. It just happened to be Christmas morning before anyone else was awake. Your writing is a gift Marissa, to you and your readers. Keep using your gift and blessing us with it as well. Merry Christmas!


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