As the cycles swing around again we find ourselves fast entering our season of cold and dark. We have past through the harvest and my wish is that all our pantries are stocked, that we each see our way through these coming months in comfort and joy.
It is custom for most of us in this part of the world to have a mid winter celebration including gift giving. Whether it is Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice or any other religious tradition the occasion tends to hold a high level of importance. And with it a greater than usual opportunity for hurt.
I cannot recount the number of times in my life I have sweated and struggled to come up with just the right gift to show my deep appreciation of a person. With all my efforts I have still experienced that ‘look’ with the words of “Oh,… this is perfect, this is wonderful,” … uttered from a face completely out of alignment with eyes and body language. And on the other turn, after waiting expectantly for that perfect something from that closest of people, I have gazed upon some item absolutely foreign to me and known my next second of response would be critical to the health of our relationship.
In my last weeks I have taught a class that looked deeply at many stories within the Bible. While looking at the stories of Jesus healings and teachings I noticed a theme around his gift of healing. The people who Jesus praised most highly declared very clearly their need, their desire; and then proved it with action and faith.
These were the people who were healed. Could it be that we are to ask for what we want in order to get it. Maybe the oweness does not fall on the giver of the gift to ‘get it right’ but rather on the recipients to make their needs known. Maybe there is power in speaking our needs? Maybe the gift really is a declaration of a loving intention that can only be received fully by the one who is willing to declare his or her desire.
Today in my life, before I look at the value of a gift received, I think I shall look at my own willingness to speak my desire. I choose to appreciate the intention of every gift given whether just a smile or a passing wave. I choose to see that my world truly is filled with good will.
As you enter this new season may you speak with faith and conviction your desire. May I and all those close to you truly hear your needs. My desire for all of us is needs fully met.