Giving and Receiving
They say that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’, to 'pay it forward' as they said in a movie. But I wonder.
We assume that we are well-off and confident enough to share our time, possessions, sometimes money, our cooking, hospitality, and take it for granted that giving is the way to live. That we have to spend time as volunteers, sort out possessions to pass on to charity or give for overseas schools and hospitals, etc., take time to talk with the stranger or invite people to share a meal. (Though I don't take time to get into a conversation with those cold callers who want to sell me a mobile phone etc. as two just did in the last ten minutes!)
But recently our family members have learned something different. This is how to show grace and acceptance when people share much with us. Groceries, vegetables, bread, eggs, meat, many such items have been brought to our house in recent weeks. There are gifts to us in abundance arriving in boxes! The reason for this is after a few friends realized that we have a large household at present and we have to manage on a rather small income. We are amazed by the generosity of people, particularly from two church groups and some friends that go back a long time when we lived in a small country town, and also from part of our extended family who live in France.
There’s an element of embarrassment to receive gifts perhaps, then we have to remember that those who give, do it out of kindness and care. We have to take a deep breath and say ‘Thank you very much’. Therefore the saying that ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’ is fine, but also, ‘to receive’ is most certainly a blessing. We have recently learned this by personal experience.
Labels: giving and receiving