Recently I came across the poem below in my quarterly Yale Divinity School magazine, Reflections. I found it quite moving and shared it with the Stewardship Board. They found it moving as well as worthy of consideration and conversation. It speaks of the complexity of giving in our lives, of giving as a way of life. It speaks of giving and receiving gifts of all kinds, of the joy and sorrow of giving.
WHEN GIVING IS ALL WE HAVE
One river gives its journey to the next.
We give because someone gave to us.
We give because nobody gave to us.
We give because giving has changed us.
We give because giving could have changed us.
We have been better for it,
We have been wounded by it –-
Giving has many faces: It is loud and quiet,
Big, though small, diamond in wood-nails.
Its story is old, the plot worn and the pages too,
But we read this book, anyway, over and again:
Giving is, first and every time, hand to hand,
Mine to yours, yours to mine.
You gave me blue and I gave you yellow.
Together we are simple green. You gave me
What you did not have, and I gave you
What I had to give -– together, we made
Something greater from the difference.
from A Small Story About the Sky by Albert Rios
It is the season of giving gifts to graduates and to teachers. We will be honoring those among us at Plymouth who are teachers this coming Sunday. I have a number of family birthdays this month. Perhaps you know of upcoming weddings or wedding anniversaries in May and June. We have just honored mothers with gifts and the day for fathers is coming soon. Spring is giving us its bounty of beauty daily.
God is the Mystery of Love that generates giving of every kind. We are able to give love because we are first loved by God through family, friends, community. There is abundance for all in the world if we as human beings learn to share, to give to one another.
May we be grateful that as human beings we are created to be giving beings. May we be more aware of all we have been given that we can share. May we remember and recognize that giving makes a difference.
Blessings on the journey,
The Rev. Jane Anne Ferguson, Associate, Minister, is a writer, storyteller, and contributor to Feasting on the Word, a popular biblical commentary. She is also the writer of sermon-stories.com, a lectionary-based story-commentary series. Learn more about Jane Ann here.