Dear Hearts, When I was a girl, I loved making and giving gifts to my parents and grandparents. I remember the excitement I felt as they opened what I had created. I could hardly wait to see the joy on their faces when the wrapping finally revealed what I had given. No matter how primitive my efforts were, they were always gratefully received.
This month, our fourth month of looking at The Five Love Languages, we will focus on receiving gifts. Author Gary Chapman, who wrote the book on the love languages, tells us that when receiving gifts from loved ones makes us feel the most happy and loved, it may be our primary love language. Receiving a gift is an art. In looking for quotes, like I present at the beginning of each eNote, I found it easy to find quotes on giving. The task became challenging when looking for quotes on receiving. Sometimes we forget that unless there is a receiver, there can be no giving. Rebecca O’Dwyer, in the above quote, has it right when she says that receiving is an act of love. The apostle and evangelist Paul, when speaking to the church in Ephesus, attributed these words to Jesus, our Way Shower: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Yet nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus use these words. Jesus talked about God desiring to give us the kingdom. Yet the kingdom is only available if we receive it. We must be open to accepting any gifts we are given, spiritual or not, or we do not receive them. So, if we think of receiving as an art, as an act of love, how must we receive?
You can add to the list as ideas pop into your mind. If I authentically and lovingly receive an idea someone offers, a helpful act, a listening ear, or a material gift, I am gifting the giver. The acts of giving and receiving are reciprocal. There cannot be one without the other. So, when we hear the words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” let us remember that the giver is blessed when we receive with love and grace. I joyfully give you my love and receive yours with an open heart. I am blessed to serve as your minister. This month enjoy being a receiver of all that UCIR has to offer. It is our joy to accept, in turn, your offerings of time, talent, and treasure—and mostly YOU!