I didn’t intend to listen to the conversation at first, however the ferry was over-crowded and I was sitting directly behind two young men about 19 or 20 years of age.
“I wish they wouldn’t keep giving me things,” one of them said, obviously frustrated, “I can’t return the favours.”
He held out a phone, an i-Phone. “Look what they gave me for watering their garden while they were away for a week.”
The other young man took the phone and examined it. “This is the Apple-4,” he said duly impressed.
“I know,” said the first, “they wouldn’t take it back, even when I told them I liked being able to help them.”
I was not at all surprised by the conversation, having had the privilege of working with youth I know they are thinking, caring and giving.
The conversation continued, and I must admit I listened in.
The recipient of the iPhone shared with his friend stories of a number of times that he just wanted to help and was rewarded with, as he put it, unnecessary gifts.
Sometimes, the greatest gift of all is being able to receive graciously.
We all seem to give well and to do things for others, but often it is harder to be on the receiving end.
My mother always told me that if some of us don’t learn to receive, then giving will lose its joy and its mystery.
All of life is a gift from God.
None of us can do anything to deserve it but we can give thanks, live our lives celebrating the gifts, share what we have and humbly receive the generosity of others.
The Rev. Hilde J. Seale is one of the
Ministers at Knox United Church