Give Gratuitously

Give gratuitously, he says, and I can’t stop thinking about it. He’s talking about love but I’ve been watching my community give and give and give these past days. So many still in need and after mom calls I can’t help thinking that maybe it’s easier to give gratuitously to people you don’t know—people who don’t know you. No fallout from that.
Love is messy.
 
Everytime it happens I say to myself, I say, Never again, but when tomorrow comes I find I’m ok from the bruising. They say what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger but I say it makes me softer. And love becomes a free fall and I just lift my arms and scream happy the whole way. My former pastor told me once, when we were going down one of those crazy water slides with the youth, she said, It’s more fun when I scream.
I think I’m done holding it inside. I don’t need to look cool anymore. I don’t need to vie for good opinions. It is this imago Dei carried in every face I meet that keeps clamoring after me now.
I can’t just walk on by. I have to look again. Every time.
The Holy is there.
Give gratuitously, he says. And I’m still trying to figure out what it means.

Comments

  1. says

    “Everytime it happens I say to myself, I say, Never again, but when tomorrow comes I find I’m ok from the bruising. They say what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger but I say it makes me softer” This line kills me in a good way. The dying that bring life.Hurts good. Thank you.

  2. says

    Oh I love Henry Nouwen…so rich. I too want it to make me softer…and i am right there with you continuing to learn what it means too. blessings to you~

  3. says

    Why is it that lovely those to whom we’re supposed to be closest can sometimes be so much harder and more painful? This is lovely, Laura. Thank you.

  4. says

    I’m tired, that much is clear! Just back from 2.5 days bending over backwards to make my mom happy as her birthday approaches tomorrow- and I can’t be there then. But that first line is supposed to read: “Why is it that LOVING those …. ” Sigh.

  5. says

    Yes it is easier to give through another source instead of being out there yourself. It is difficult when they thrust the bag of groceries back at you and say, I don’t want your gift, and tell you to keep it. Perhaps because I knew the person and she was embarrassed, but what ever her reason, it did hurt a bit.

  6. Anonymous says

    There have been a few in this age who have really caused me to stop and chew on what they’ve said and I suppose it is, in part, because I know that they have and are living what they talk. In an age when there are waaay too many words and opinions bandied about, I’m thankful for those men and women.

    No, Laura, you don’t need to look cool anymore and you sure don’t need to vie for the good opinion of others. Sweet Jesus, what a glorious day it is when we can say that and mean it!

    There’s this quote by Frederick Buechner from Godric. It says:

    “He laid his hands on me and blessed my eyes to see God’s image deep in every man.”

    I figure folks who are busy looking for God’s image deep in every man, aren’t full of themselves or requiring others to fill them.

    Take comfort, sister … and my I just love think’n that comfort in Latin means, “to give courage” …

    If you’re still trying to figure some things out, you’re in good company. The humble always fall free.

    I sure do love you.

    Laure

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