Saturday, January 2, 2010

Receive. It Does A Body Good.

The invitations were out, a huge anniversary party planned. Their daughters were not there.

Raised in a faith that stresses that it is more blessed to give than to receive, this receiving thing was a bit uncomfortable for me. I love giving gifts. The thrill of finding something that will make that other person beam is a real high. Doing something for someone in need, involvement in a project, anything that makes someone else smile makes us feel really good. It is what we should do. Well, that’s just half of the story. For every giver, there must be a receiver.

Mom and Dad didn’t like to receive anything from anyone. It had something to do with this thing called pride. My parents had to be doers. Receiving was not something they even considered. This was never so evident than in their senior years. They who had always been the caregivers could not easily accept the care giving.

I wrote a play about receiving, about the humbleness we need show when accepting something from someone else. This thing of receiving was new to a lot of people. Not many stop to think that someone needs to receive in order for someone else to experience the thrill of giving.

Mom and Dad had their 50th wedding anniversary coming up. The Loxley daughters wanted to make the occasion special inviting friends from our growing up years as well as community and lifelong friends. Mom wouldn’t hear of it. She did not want us having all of these people come in to celebrate them. Wow, that hurt. We three girls wanted to see these faces from our past. We wanted to give to our parents a huge gift from our hearts, but Mother forbade it. Strongly forbade it.

Then the news came. Some people from the church were having the big celebration for them. Mom and Dad were thrilled. Pictures for us were taken of the church social room packed with people, people we hadn’t seen for years and would possibly never see again. Mom and Dad were thrilled and loved every minute. Wow, the people who did this for them were wonderful. However, their children weren’t invited. I’m not sure any of us would have gone had we been. It hurt. We could never do anything for Mom and Dad without an argument. Yes, it hurt.

There is a need for more receivers. Where is the graciousness that comes with accepting something from someone else, whether we need it or even want it. We givers are excited to see the smiles and to see the difference in someone else’s eyes. Christ accepted many gifts with great joy and thanks. So what was up with our church not promoting receiving?

If I want to give something to you, please take it. Be a grateful receiver. Understand what your children want to do for you. Understand that your grandchildren need to see that you are a humble receiver saying in all humility a simple “thank you”.

I am trying to be a receiver delighting in the effort put for the by the giver. I wonder if the givers realizes the gift I give back in my receiving.

My new year’s resolution: Receive. It is blessed.

1 comment:

  1. I recently had a similar experience with my father. For several years, I've thrown my dad a dinner party at my house to celebrate his birthdays. This year he balked when we began to discuss his 94th birthday. Finally the truth came out. He wanted a party at his own house so that he could invite as many people as he wanted! My feelings were hurt for a little while. Then my sister and I began to plan to give him the celebration he wanted. His house is much more modest in size than mine, but we had finger foods instead of a sit-down dinner, and over 60 people came by in a three-hour period. People came who wouldn't have made the extra half-an-hour drive to my house. So Dad got the birthday party he wanted, and I got over my hurt feelings. Sometimes Father really does know best!