I am currently between homes
And I recently got an opportunity
To give a gift to the family hosting me.
It was a small thing
But it made me feel a little less awkward.
I think it came from a good place
But it made me ponder on why gifts are sometimes hard to receive.

Sometimes being on the receiving end
Of other people’s generosity is uncomfortable.
It’s possible to feel indebted.
And when we feel that way
We often try and rush to repay them
Gift for gift
Dollar for dollar.
It makes us feel better
Because now we don’t ‘owe’ anyone anything.
But it also has a way of making an act of generosity
Into a transaction.

I cannot repay this family for their hospitality;
The warmth they give, the love they share.
If I tried to “pay them back” for every little thing
It would make it more like a ‘job’ they did
Instead of a gift they gave.
I am grateful I got a chance to bless them,
Not to pay them back
But to share in the joy of being generous.
And they graciously received.

When we fail to allow others to give to us
And insist on everyone being “squared”
We rob them of the chance of being gift-givers.



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