I know it isn’t Christmas, or my birthday, it isn’t a holiday or an anniversary, but the subject of gifts has been on my mind all evening. The definition of a gift or a present is the transfer of something without the expectation of payment. Although gift-giving might involve an expectation of reciprocity, a gift is meant to be free. When I was a little girl daddy bought a set of Uncle Arthur’s Bedtime Stories. My favorites were a story about some kids who started a club that left surprise packages for neighbors and shut-ins, which is the one I thought of today, it was called The Surprise Package Company.
What can you give to someone who has needs you can’t physically meet, such as a large amount of money, or a new body part? As the kids in the story, I enjoy giving things that are unexpected and sometimes simply anonymous, just for the joy of seeing the look of surprise or pleasure on the receivers face. I gave time to my parents aside from taking care of their daily needs by taking them for an extra ride when they weren’t going to a doctor’s office or church. They didn’t want material things from me they wanted my time. My daughter and son are very caring and help me out so much, last year while my daughter’s family was on a vacation I noticed my son hanging out here a little extra. I knew he was tired from rising very early and working hard all day, so when he was staying around spending extra time I realized he was just staying to be company for me. It touched me that he would do that for me but then I thought about how we say ‘what goes around comes around’ and he was doing for me, what I had done for my folks. I looked at his tired face and suggested for him to go home, take off his clothes and get comfy, lay on his own bed, watch TV, just be with his wife. The relief I saw in his eyes was all I wanted, I had given him the gift of “letting go” with grace and love.
What makes us this way? We were “made in His image” and He is love. As the time of year approaches when we celebrate the death, burial, and resurrection from the grave of Jesus Christ, you have to remember that the greatest gift ever given was given freely, without expectation of anything in return. God gave His Son and His Son chose to follow the will of His Father and die as the atonement of our sin, letting us come to the Mercy Seat with boldness. He loved us from the beginning of the world, while we were yet in sin. Dottie Rambo penned a song that says it so well, “Amazing grace has always been my song of praise, for it was grace that bought my liberty. I do not know just how He came to love me so, He looked beyond my fault and saw my needs. I shall forever lift my eyes to Calvary, to view the cross where Jesus died for me, How marvelous the grace that caught my falling soul, He looked beyond my fault and saw me need.”
Look around and see someone’s need, and if you can’t do anything else, give them the gift of you time.