All That We Have
I walked into the office to find bags all over the floor, brimming with interesting items. Peanuts, grain, dried flowers, a giant watermelon... I couldn't think of a dish that required these ingredients! But then I remembered that our creative team had just returned from a "home visit." In the Communications Department, our creative team (writer, photographer, videographer) goes to follow up with some patients after they've returned home with their completed surgery and rehab. The team goes to visit and to capture "after" photos and video to be used to tell the patient's story and to help spread the word about Mercy Ships.
Our creative had just returned from visiting a patient in their home village and brought back these gifts that the family had given them.
This family could not pay for the life changing surgery. Many can't even afford the cost to travel to the ship to receive the free surgery! But when this team made the drive out to their village and stepped into their home, the people warmly welcomed them and showered them with gifts. They gave all they could to say thank you. Peanuts, squash, dried hibiscus flowers for tea... they gathered what they grow and use everyday, they gave what they had with deep gratitude and thanksgiving. Although they said it was not enough and they could never adequately pay back what was given to them, they still gave freely and without hesitation.
How often do I feel like what I have to offer isn't enough so I don't give anything at all? How often do I shy away from giving because what I have is so small that it's kind of embarrassing? Oh how the enemy loves when we hide our gratitude. How he knows that our thanksgiving is the key to open the door to the presence of God.
But gratitude isn't about the items given, it's all about the heart behind them. I've never received a gift and thought, "wow, they really should have given me more!" I'm always so blessed that someone even thought of me! I don't want to withhold my gifts because I fear they are not enough. I want to give freely and generously like this family who gave bags of peanuts, grain, watermelon and squash.
'Tis the season of gift giving and I'm reminded of this familiar Christmas tune:
Come thy told me Pa rum pum pum-pum A newborn King to see Pa rum pum pum-pum Our finest gifts we bring To lay before the king So to honor Him When we come
Little baby I am a poor boy too I have no gift to bring That's fit to give our King Shall I play for you On my drum
Mary nodded The ox and lamb kept time I played my drum for Him I played my best for Him Then He smiled at me Me and my drum
Let us give freely and generously, all that we have, whatever we have, as a beautiful act of worship to our God; an act of thanksgiving of all that He has done for us and given us!
"On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrth." Matthew 2:11