gift giving

I’ve been reading a book by Parker Palmer … Let Your Life Speak – Listening For The Voice Of Vocation.

This passage has stuck in my mind … worthy of contemplation:

When I give something I do not possess, I give a false and dangerous gift, a gift that looks like love but is, in reality, loveless — a gift given more from my need to prove myself than from the other’s need to be cared for.   That kind of giving is not only loveless but faithless, based on the arrogant and mistaken notion that God has no way of channeling love to the other except through me.   Yes, we were created in and for community, to be there, in love, for one another.   But community cuts both ways: when we reach the limits of our own capacity to love, community means trusting that someone else will be available to the person in need.  …

When the gift I give to the other is integral to my own nature, when it comes from a place of organic reality within me, it will renew itself – and me – even as I give it away.  Only when I give something that does not grow within me do I deplete myself and harm the other as well, for only harm can come from a gift that is forced, inorganic, unreal.

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  1. Wow. Something to think about. Reminds me of the oft repeated adage – “Recognizing a need is not necessarily a call”. Sometimes, we (I) respond to a need in my arrogance – of course God will be using me to fill this need…I mean..who better – rather than believing God will meet the need sometimes through me, but often blesses others with the task. It’s hard to trust and wait on God rather than being a self appointed provider. Obviously, He is not finished with me yet!

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