Once upon a time, a gift was given.
And all who received it were changed. The old found new excitement and enthusiasm; the young found purpose and meaning. But, more amazingly, frozen hearts were thawed and raging souls calmed. The love poured from this gift had the power to wash away hatred. Enemies became family. Hope-soaked desert lives blossomed and flourished.
Compassion flowed from the gift, filling empty lives; graciousness became a garment; and, strangely, for those who received the gift a new light shone, casting different shadows, illuminating possibilities previously unseen. Indeed, the gift was light; the gift was compassion; the gift was grace. All that it touched was made new.
And those who received the gift began to give. The gift was shared and passed along and thrown around in acts of compassion and signs of grace, in mercy and selflessness. This is a gift that will not be locked away; like the manna of old it can’t be stored for tomorrow. It has to be given.
And so the gift is given still.
We know because we’ve received it. We know because our own hearts have been thawed, our own souls drenched with hope. We know what it is to receive that for which we cannot pay. And so we too feel now a twinge that nudges us, and we hear the voice that whispers simply, “Give; share; care.”
For us who call ourselves the church, the gift is a way of life. Have you shared it lately? Have you offered the grace you have found, or should I say the grace that has found you? Have you invited someone to come and discover it for themselves? Sharing the gift is as simple as a word, a gesture, your presence, and as profound as the highest calling, the grandest effort serving the noblest cause.
One size fits all with this gift. Offer it to a friend; share it with the world. But try to hang onto it, try to guard it, and it will only fade away.