What are the most precious gifts that you have either given or received? I imagine that many of you parents, like me, treasure the hand-made gifts from your children and that all of us value the out-of-the-ordinary gifts from the heart. Christmas is about giving and receiving. Ultimately, God gave the biggest gift and it is up to us to either receive Him or not. The presents we give are also expressions of love when truly given from the heart. These gifts can include, but are certainly not limited to “stuff”. Gifts of time, grace, and encouragement are often the most difficult to give, yet the most treasured by the recipients.
I am reminded of a story about a gift from a peasant farmer woman in Uganda. (see excerpt below). This story is from a chapter titled, “Judgment,” though it comes to mind as I think of examples of true giving. I had not thought of this before today, but the story is a bit similar to the story of the widow in the Bible who gave two coins out of her poverty while the wealthy people gave from their abundance. (Luke 21:1-4) What a challenge to us. Are we only giving out of abundance? Are we giving out of duty to culture and tradition? Or are we also giving from our hearts?