What’s the best gift to be given?
Not money, shoes, or clothes –
(Except for those with few of those.)
Not boats or cars, maybe a star?
Not gadgets, nor widgets,
Nor books, nor cosmetic looks,
Not TVs or DVDs –
Though they do entertain.
The gifts so needed
(Repeat as needed)
Are loving looks, and kind replies,
And holding tongues that want to curse
Or say the worst.
Not criticism, cynicism,
Ingratitude, nor attitude.
Just humbly listening
When you’ve heard that story 100 times.
Do I have to be first?
I must go to the end of the line.
[Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 3:5-6]
I don’t understand much,
But I’ve been given a gift —
A gift I didn’t ask for —
I can’t change my existence,
But what do I do with it?
Yes, it’s a mystery —
My own life history —
And that God has a plan
That I don’t understand.
I don’t understand,
I don’t understand,
I don’t understand …
Plans for my good
And not for harm,
Plans for a future
And a hope.
I must trust in the Lord with all my heart,
And not rely on my own insight.
I must acknowledge Him in all my ways,
And He will make my paths straight.
Do you ever feel like the Drummer Boy?
Nothing to bring to the quiet King.
Nothing to give, except your sin.
Do you ever look inside yourself,
But empty finding, look above.
It’s only there, that there is Love.
And then open your heart to let Him in.
Maybe God wanted to do something nice for me after I had to have a blood
test (does anyone like them?), or He just wanted to delight me somehow,
but when I came out of the medical clinic about 7:30 a.m., this is the sunrise
that He showed me:
Heaven is singing,
The choruses ringing,
Of God’s ever-love
Abiding in lightness,
In darkness, the brightness –
The Spirit, the dove
Gives strength to our weakness;
From pride, giving meekness –
The gift from above
I once was amazed by a statement in a book by Peter Kreeft (can’t recall which book) that “The Jews gave us the gift of guilt.” In current times, most of us avoid the idea of guilt and find it very negative. To think of guilt as “a gift” was thought-provoking.
Here’s my take on it, but I am not an expert:
1) Guilt is a gift when I have broken one of God’s laws. This might be thought of as the Ten Commandments, or the “two greatest commandments”: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Have I done evil, or have I failed to do the good I had the means to do?
2) It is a gift if I allow the guilt to bring me to repentance.
3) It is a gift if after repenting, I freely accept forgiveness.
Guilt can be a gift like a cancer diagnosis. You did not perhaps know you had cancer until the doctor informed you. Now that you are informed, things can be done to destroy or remove the cancer. The guilt is the impetus, like the awareness following the diagnosis, to take action.
Smelly clothes and dirty dishes
Don’t seem like the stuff of wishes
Cooking meals and wiping noses
Could, in time, produce neuroses
However, if you do your duty
You could find in rhythm, beauty.
The daily things you do with love
May lead your soul to realms above
The simple things, seen with new eyes
May give your heart a great surprise
When seen as the Creator’s gift
A flower, a child, a dirty dish