How do you thank someone who gives you a gift from their heart, and is a total stranger?
I like to think that I am a generous person, I love my husband and children, (step and my own) and my elderly Mum. When I am with them I do pay for meals, and I give gifts. But I was very much challenged today, when I went to my daughter’s church to listen to a speaker that I always enjoy. He speaks on worship and always has a timely message.
I was given a coffee, by my daughter, and I admired a pendant necklace of the lady behind the counter of the coffee bar.
“It’s my tree of life and a favourite pendant of mine”
“oh, it’s a tree” I said, only admiring the design and colour.
This lady saw that I was a visitor to her church. We have a regular church we attend, so we are used to services and people talking to us. But as I was new and so was my husband we were observed by those who were interested in us. She saw how we enjoyed the singing and she gave the pendant to my daughter to give to me, feeling that I should have a cherished, favourite item of hers.
I really do like this “Tree of Life” – it has meaning in my heart that is broader than the reality of a few orange/pink beads fashioned into branches and fruit, with a lovely carved, wooden brown trunk. It signifies an abundant life, and generosity of spirit. The very values that brought this lovely gift from the unselfish, lovely spirit of the lady who decided to bless it to me.
It challenged me at my very core – because I don’t think I would have done this to someone else…..and I think I should be able to. I have a heart for others but in many ways I have stifled this active generosity that even my little grandchild has more of in her little heart.
It has challenged me in my home in attitudes to my husband and family, and life in general. Not so much my workplace because I think that I am generous about helping others, but then why there – is it because I get materially paid for my efforts? I can be generous at home with food, but with money and other things it is harder as we have budget constraints, and having been a “Single” mum, and an older sister, my ideas tend to the constraint, and less generous side of budgets. I have shared my home in the past with many “orphan” children, exchange students from overseas, boarding children from visiting schools, Rotary exchange students all connected to my family. I have been generous with my time and hopefully they have felt needed and supported. Relations and family are welcome in my home, where I try to give an atmosphere of support and encouragement, and a place of rest and recuperation from the busy universe.
Is this enough? Is this why I am find it excruciatingly difficult to write a “novel” but really easy to pen a few words about a small gift?