Our Christmas celebrations were perfect... time with family, great food, excited kids and SNOW! Our kids had literally prayed for some snow during our visit. And it came on Christmas Day. That was fun!
I thoroughly enjoyed myself at each and every turn. We have shared meals with so many friends these last few weeks. It seems as if we are on the receiving end of love each and every day. It is this part of missionary life that gets me every time.
We used to think we were the 'givers.' When we lived in the US, we found such joy in sharing our stuff with others...
Now, it just seems like we are the 'takers.'
If you want to be humbled, sit in a room full of young couples who are working to secure a future for their families as they lay gifts at your feet and act like it is their joy to give to a middle-aged couple. That was tough to swallow, but oh, so beautiful.
Their sacrificial surprises for our family are the type of thing that makes love tangible. We had so much fun with them... pigging out, playing games and enjoying the good news of babies on the way: biological and adoptive. We were loved.
What makes it so hard to receive extravagant gifts? What makes me want to shrug off all of the attention and generosity? What makes it difficult to accept radical love from others?
It is ultimately pride, I know.
But it feels more like this... I have absolutely nothing of worldly value to give in return. I used to...but today, in this season, I have nothing.
Empty hands, receiving an amazing outpouring of love.
Sounds a lot like how I feel when I look at the cross of Christ. My hands have nothing to give that could ever repay His generosity. My paltry offering pales in return.
That is Love.