Gifts are implicitly given.
What is given we cannot take any credit for. But we can give credit where it’s due!
What we take no credit for we can also receive with gratitude, which requires something of us that expends and exemplifies grace.
It isn’t always easy to receive. We don’t want to owe someone and therefore prove vulnerable before them. We would wish them to be blessed before we are, even though we know we are worthy of their esteem.
To receive a gift of love, comfortably well, we need courage — to stand in our ground of vulnerability and to accept that we are worthy of their — and God’s — esteem.
As I said in opening up, gifts are implicitly given.
God gives us the gift of receiving a gift with gratitude, which is the grace of humility.
How else are we to bless the person blessing us with the gift? They deserve their accolades for their inspiration and creativity — their love.
Only God can give us the grace of humility to stand the ground of gratitude; to not pass over our response too quickly; to look the person in their face, seek eye contact, and, with sincerity, thank them.
They have done something worthy of the eternal realm — to ‘speak’ love in the actions of care. And, with the gift of grace to receive the gift, we acknowledge their love with our own love for them.
The gift of receiving love,
Is a gift given from above,
Receiving the love of another,
Is how to bless a sister or brother.
Receiving tangible gifts from others with grace is a gift in its own right. It requires humility to stand in our vulnerability and sincerely offer the gift of thanks.
Only God can imbue us with the grace that is courageously vulnerable enough to be humble.
This concept was revealed to me during a season past where we, the pastors, were the needy ones. People gave with such generous and Spirit-filled hearts. Most generously of all, they gave us their prayers!
These lessons we learned — of taking the gifts given with gracious aplomb that can come only as a gift from God — are truly about the other half of love.
Love is not simply about giving; it’s also about receiving. We love people not only in how we give to them, but also in how we receive their love.
Indeed, it may be the most magnanimous love we can give: to receive another’s love.
© 2015 S. J. Wickham.