As December gets rolling, everything around us tells us to think about giving gifts. Like I said in my last post, I have a lot of thoughts about this… but for today I want to ponder an alternative way of thinking about gift giving, which applies all year long.
Central to the vision/mission statement of The Dale is the idea that all people are welcomed into full participation; all are encouraged to share the gifts that they have been given with the rest of the community. These gifts might include food prep, music, art, time spent on outreach, insights shared at Bible study, and any number of other things. This invitation to both give and receive is important to us, because too often folks who are on the margins find themselves passive recipients, and are robbed of the opportunity to give.
Over my time at Sanctuary and the Dale, I have been the recipient of many precious gifts: smiles and hugs, words of deep wisdom and encouragement right when I needed them most, shared meals, wild (or something like that!) flowers, cards and little items. I have a treasure box where I keep a delightful assortment of bracelets, key chains, toys, a baseball, etc. One of my most treasured gifts is a french onion soup bowl that was given to me by a friend who heard me say that I’d like to buy a butter dish 🙂
Last week I received a beautiful piece of writing from a new friend at the Dale. He said that I could share it with you. Here it is, just as he wrote it:
Trust him in the dark places of your mind. Trust him in the light. When everything is wrong, you have to trust him. Trust him in the valley; trust for every moment of your life. Thank him for every breath you take. Trust him he gave the the newness of life, from the dead through his blood. Trust him for he never fail. Jesus is not a failure. If you put your trust in a man you are heading for trouble because man always fails. Put not your trust in man, man will fail and sometimes laugh at you, so put your trust in Jesus not in any many. Jesus he deliver from the dead not me so you trust Jesus. Jesus he is the only one. He made you. Jesus is the Lord God the creator of life there is no other way but through Jesus his blood gave you salvation. Trust him with all your heart. It is Jesus it is Jesus.
So friends, may we remember that giving is a gift, and that the most precious gifts usually aren’t tangible. And in this season of gift giving, may we hope for, long for, and ache for the arrival of The Gift. It is Jesus it is Jesus.