Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Giving and Receiving

My mother fell and broke her wrist ten days ago. I'm not happy about her pain or her having to be in a cast with limited activity for six weeks or more. But in a weird kind of way I'm happy she broke her wrist. Hang with me on this!
My mother is a pretty amazing lady! So are both my parents. They are both 87, and they both think and act much younger. That's a good thing most of the time, but it also means that it's hard to keep up with them. They are pretty independent. And they are both now and always have been people who care deeply about others. They have servant hearts.
Well, a broken wrist is a different way to live on a temporary basis. It's also an opportunity for others to turn love and caring back toward my parents. My parents have spent their lives loving and caring about others in all kinds of ways. Now for a season their children, other family and friends are "lined up" to be hands and feet and heart for them.
There's just one small problem: There may be more blessing in giving than in receiving (Acts 20:35), but when one has a giving kind of heart and life it's not always easy to receive. It takes a kind of paradigm shift: out of giving mode to receiving.
In life there are basically two kinds of people: givers and takers. Think about it. For givers to be what they are to their core there must be takers to take their giving. For takers to be who they are there must be someone to give what is taken. Like the old song says, "You can't have one without the other."
I have a friend who has a simple plaque on the wall in her den. It says simply, "Balance." It hangs there prominently to remind her and all who pass there that life requires balance when we get it right.
My parents are graciously trying to allow others to do for them what they would rather be doing for others. That's their gift to us - letting us help! So, you see, even in their receiving they are still giving.
Isn't it interesting that God's Kingdom is filled with life principles that turn "normal logic" on its head? To be willing to give and also to be willing to receive both require some heart reconstruction - God's process of restoration. One doesn't exist without the other and both are gifts - giving and receiving!

No comments: