Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I was thinking of the impact of receiving a gift when I wrote the following. Unexpected and undeserved, gifts sometimes fall into our laps and they weigh into our souls. For some, receiving a gift is like water off an ungrateful duck’s back. For others, receiving a gift is a burden to be duly considered. It calls for some response. That’s what I’m grappling with in this piece.

What we receive weighs something.
It may weigh us down
but need not do so.
But there is gravity in a gift;
it bears substance.

Pray for such a burden,
such a blessing.

If you wanted to
throw your weight around
you could give a gift,
bear a grace,
offer blessing--
without expectation,
without strings.

Receive what's given,
feel its impact on your soul.
May your soul be supple enough
to absorb its blow,
lest it be deflected,
as if bouncing off a brick wall.

I teach my child to receive a soccer ball
by absorbing its weight with her foot or leg or body;
yielding to it, it drops in your lap
instead of bouncing out of control.
Feel its weight and you possess it.
And then you can work with it--
drive it to the goal
or pass it along.

Receive a gift;
yield to its impact,
be changed by its weight;
possess it;
then use it,
or pass it on.

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