A prayer on receiving a gift
John 12: 1-3 (NRSVA)
1 Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. 2 There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. 3 Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
Gifts can be funny things. So often we focus on what it is to be a gift-giver: what does someone want… what will they like… can I afford it… does it convey the right message?
What if we took more time to reflect on what it is to receive a gift? And not just those that are wrapped up in beautiful paper with a bow on top. What about the gifts of time we are offered? Or expertise.
Sometimes the most precious gifts we can receive are not shiny and new but already beloved by the giver or part of their very selves.
May I not say, “I could not possibly…”
or “I do not want to impose…”.
May I open myself to this wonderful gift,
which requires me to be vulnerable and accept,
without control or pride.
May I open myself fully to receiving love
in whatever way and guise it is offered,
and notice what it feels like to say, most sincerely,