“A gift is like a rare gem; any way you view it you see beauty refracted.” ~ Proverbs 17:8
Spring had arrived in the mountains. Butterflies danced among the stunning flowers littering the meadow. In the woods multicolored blossoms were rapidly transforming into green leaves.
Without warning however, dark clouds threatened the sky; like a predator encircling its prey. Soon drops bigger than prairie hailstones pounded the earth as the sky roared with satisfaction. May showers had taken the sunshine out of spring.
He drove to the local store for another week’s worth of food. After paying for his groceries, Trevor headed for the door when he heard a loud thud.
He turned and saw that an older man with a walker had fallen on the slick floor. Trevor rushed over and helped him to his feet. Luckily he was unhurt and thanked Trevor several times.
Trevor pushed the cart to his car. The skies had settled but still overcast. A sense of purity caressed the air. A dense, earthly smell rose from the ground soothing everything with its soft embrace.
Like the weather, he’d sensed changes coming in his own life for some time now. He smiled broadly at the thought of helping another. Sharing love, spreading joy, and doing all he could to make the world a better place brought him closer to God. He felt alive!
As he reached for his keys, Trevor realized that he’d locked them with his cell phone inside the car. “Je suis tres stupide!” he mumbled to himself, kicking the tire with a few additional choice words.
“What’s wrong?” a teenage bicyclist asked as he rode up.
“Locked the keys inside my car,” Trevor said, more embarrassed than angry.
The stranger handed Trevor his cell phone.
“Even if I called my wife,” Trevor continued, “she can’t bring me her car key. This is our only car.”
“Call your wife,” the boy suggested. “Tell her I’m coming to get her key.”
“That’s eleven miles round trip,” Trevor replied.
“Don’t worry about it,” the boy said. And an hour later, he returned with the key. Trevor offered to pay the boy, but he refused. “Let’s just say I needed the exercise,” he said before riding off.
Trevor felt awkward. He found it much easier to offer help than to receive it. He’d been taught from an early age that giving is better than receiving. But receiving is an equally noble endeavor. Maybe that was the change God had planned for this day.
When someone extends their attention and caring toward us, how deeply do we let it in? Can we allow ourselves to be nourished by another’s act of kindness? Receiving deeply not only nurtures us, but it also honors the giver. It makes them feel that they made a difference in our life.
Lord, remind us that by accepting help from others, we’re joined together as family members. By allowing others to love us, we bless them as well, with the opportunity to serve, to love, and to live as Christ. Amen