Wednesday, September 23, 2009


My husband and I have the gift of giving. By that I mean God flows "stuff" through our possession. It's odd sometimes. Unexpected. Fun. Even wild and crazy at times. The giving patterns began when we were young.

"How did you happen to have that in your basement?" asked a friend recently. Whatever oddball item it was, it was a good fit for someone else. We "happened" to have it on hand. Like my fur coat recycled into teddy bears, outward it went. (Yup, someone sewed "black rabbit" bears for a cancer ward last winter.)

After years of gathering and distributing, our eyes and hands are increasingly attuned to God at work. Sometimes we get stuck: instead of passing things through, we clutter our spaces. But often we recognize with great pleasure that something is not ours.

The balcony outside our workplace is a great place for watching soccer practice or games. It's a wonderful space to have lunch. Hardly anyone uses it though: there has been nowhere to sit. I received permission to bring some outdoor furniture from home to work - our benches stand outside all winter and they could be put to use. However, W and I hadn't driven to work with an empty van all week. He knew I was waiting to get the seating moved.

Yesterday someone gave us a new patio set with 6 huge redwood armchairs, a 60" round table, and an enormous rain/sun umbrella. "Where do you want it?" asked W. "It's in the car. Put it on the back deck? Or... shall we take it to work?"

Of course. Great idea, hon! I was astonished again at how God chose something better than we'd imagined. Our son helped set it up. One chair was still in the box. The day got away from us and W is off on business so assembly will wait a day or two (unless someone comes by with an Allen wrench.)

For flow persons like us, seeing a great fit "happen" is great fun, a confirmation of God's gift of giving. Giving is sometimes a messy process because developing maturity in any spiritual gift takes patient trial and error... between successes. We explore where generosity is welcome and where it is refused. Occasionally people think we are offering "charity" and get offended. As with any skill, we sometimes get it wrong.

What spiritual gifts might you have? How can they be God's provision within your relationships? Don't be afraid to try and fail... the Spirit teaches and uses us in community. Pluck up courage and step out in faith. After all, it's not about us, but about his work in the world and the Church.

Read more:
*Praise the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. Psalm 146:1-2 NIV

*We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves... Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies." 2 Corinthians 4:7, 10 NET

*If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Philippians 2:1-2 NIV

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