Nothing major, just resting for a few days. The great news is that my platelets are fully in the normal range. So platelet levels (and why they were headed up when down is normal?) are no longer a concern.
The last few weeks I’ve been reading ministry related books about stewardship, financial generosity, and giving, particularly, though not exclusively, in a church context. Good stuff.
Yet the points that are resonating with me today are Mark Ewert’s ideas about receiving generosity. One of his points is that it is important spiritually to develop both an ethic of giving and gracious receiving. I recall a meeting I attended somewhere and the question was asked “do you find it easier to give or receive, or are they about equally easy/hard?” Almost everyone preferred to give, which is obviously an untenable and honestly kind of sad imbalance.
Mark frames it this way. “Receiving precedes giving, whether in the realm of our personal history as a defenseless baby; our cultural history, as many before us created the context in which we live; [or] our scientific history.”
As Americans self reliance and independence are drilled into us. Many of us are also Unitarian Universalists with all the expectations of self sufficiency that holds. Self Reliance is the title of one of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s books, though he certainly meant something different than what most of us might mean when using the term.
When did you last accept an offer of help? When did you last ask for help from someone other than your closest family? What could you use help with? Maybe it’s time to ask? You’d be giving that potential giver the joy of gifting you your request. I’m getting better at asking for help. I recall when my dear friend Naomi was dying asking her about what she had learned – her answer was two fold, but one part was about asking for help. We don’t actually have to be ill to ask for help do we? I recently did a big ask and feel great about it. I got a yes, but believe I’d feel good just having asked, not that it was easy at the time. Not easy at all.
MaaBaap, let us all be gracious givers and receivers. As parents give endlessly to their children, we know they also delight in the receipt of gifts from their children. Let us delight in children who gift us a dandelion on a walk, strangers who complement us on a hat, friends who bring a meal or help clean out the basement. Let us ask for what we not only need but what we want. Let us graciously receive.