Gratitude for the Giver, not the Gift
After my mom died and as my father got older, he delighted in giving gifts to people. Little kindnesses. Small tokens.
We showed our gratitude at the giving and receiving. We delighted in Dad’s generosity. In the fact that he had thought of us. In the fact that he loved giving.
At first, we delighted in every gift, even if it was something silly or something we didn’t need. But, after a while, these small tokens grew into large collections of things—ceramic frog collections, stuffed animal collections, too many baby dolls to care for. Things we didn’t need, nor really appreciate, because each one meant finding space for this new token in our small home.
We told Dad it wasn’t necessary, all these gifts. But, he loved the giving. And so, he gave. He gave not what we needed or wanted; rather, he gave from his heart because he wanted to give. And, we accepted the gifts because giving brought him joy.
Because we loved the giver.
On the other hand, I think how often I didn’t genuinely delight in all the receiving. How I tucked a gift in a drawer or gave it away. How I thought I wish he would have gotten the kids something they really needed instead.
But, I continued to love Dad because he was “Dad.” A man with a big, loving, giving heart. I loved him and appreciated him first, before all the giving of the gifts.
That is how I should love God. I should delight in the Giver, not in the worth or value of the gifts received. I remember a quote I read once: that gratitude should be grounded in the beauty of God, before the gift.
Gratitude grounded in the beauty of God, before the gift. That is the gratitude I should have for God. Not just gratitude for the gifts or because of the gifts. But, gratitude simply because He is.
I join the Gratitude Community, over at A Holy Experience, and delight in the beauty of God, not just His gifts.
May 3, 2010
26. For a loving God
27. For Christ
28. That the sky displays Your craftsmanship
29. For Your ever presence
30. For just being God
31. For the peace that comes from knowing, from faith in the Father
32. For all the gifts, because they are from You, the Giver of all
33. For forgiveness and second chances
34. For unconditional love
35. For all the gifts I failed to recognize or simply tucked away
36. For Your unfathomable beauty
37. For a world painted with color, when You could have painted it in black and white
38. For the ancient, sacred words You have given