I had an encounter with a special woman today and the word “gift” came to mind. What are they…gifts? Something special. Something the giver knows the recipient will enjoy and appreciate. Often times, gifts are placed in a box and wrapped up in colorful, shiny, foiled wrapping paper and adorned by a velvety or satiny bow with full loops with flowing ends. When a gift is given, the recipient sees the beautiful wrapping paper and the ornate bow first. It’s obvious and easy to see and appreciate. When that gift is opened and viewed, the superficial wrapping is moved aside and the true value of the gift is appreciated.
NOW-Let’s think for a minute about being a gift; Something that was carefully selected, meticuliously crafted, personalized with the recipient in mind. But from the perspective of the gift, from inside that wrapping…it would be hard to see that beautiful wrapping paper. Maybe shadows of the pattern. Maybe the box could feel the squeeze of the ribbon or the weight of the bow. But the outward beauty might be unseen to that inner gift.
I think many of us are that way. Stay with me here….God gives us gifts and talents to be used and shared with His kingdom-purpose in mind. But often times, we don’t see the potential that God sees or even that others see while we are sitting in our little box. We may even be using the gifts and talents we have to serve the Lord and others, but still can’t see how valuable and special we are to Him.
There is a woman at church. She is beautiful, artistic, has a melodious voice, and a gorgeous family. She paints, she blogs, she takes the most beautiful pictures I have ever seen, she sings in front of the church with confidence and grace and knows the Lord’s Word. She brought her teen daughter to women’s Bible study with her….and I couldn’t help but think that I want to be that kind of Mom. To me, she embodies the Proverbs 31 woman and I wish I had just an inch of the talent she has in her index finger alone.
I, on the other hand, see myself as an introverted, frazzled Mom who used to be social and has very few friends or acquaintances. A woman who used to be artistic…who is getting deeper into God’s Word, but has a hard time with memorization. I seek the Lord and have been making efforts to stop and see His presence daily… blog about my experiences comfortably from my table, but would faint in front of a large group of people. I serve in various capacities at church and I do all of these things quietly and happily. People scare me (and yes, I am fully aware that fear of man will prove to be a snare…that is a verse that I DO know.) and I don’t know what my gifts are.
Today, in the store I passed this wonderful woman from church and smiled and said “hello” the way I always do- and kept walking. Then I passed her at the checkout counter I decided to stop. She had written a blog that really hit my heart recently and I wanted to thank her for it. I am so glad I took that moment to push my fear and insecurity aside to open my mouth and speak. Getting to know her a little bit better during the course of our conversation was a gift in itself. She is a person, just like me. She is a mom, just like me. She has insecurities, just like me. Until this moment, I never took the time to get past the beautiful wrapping to see the true gift inside. She is a tender, caring, wonderful person and I am thankful for that moment.
When viewing the gifts others have, it’s so important that we don’t become so enamored with the wrapping that we fail to appreciate the true gifts that lie within; to develop a relationship and see that person for the gift that THEY ARE as an individual. For myself, I fall victim to the comparison trap and tend to feel inferior when appreciating the gifts and talents of others. Yes, it’s a dangerous thing and something I struggle with daily. In coveting or comparing someone else’s wrapping -I fail to see the gift within myself.