Subtitle: Or, at the least, I think I believe
Sub-subtitle: Or, at the most, I believe I know
Advent, the Christian church season of anticipation of the Incarnation, the coming of God into the world through the birth of Jesus, draws to a close; draws closer to the threshold of Christmas. Christmas, though historically inherently religious in its roots, long has been embraced by secular culture as a time of celebration. Hence, whether I think about the Divine or the human graces of giving (or both!), I am put in mind of the nature of gifts.
The cardinal character of a gift is that it cannot be earned. Sought, hoped and longed for, yes. Earned, deserved, merited, no. Never.
Whenever, if ever a gift comes, the receiver, with the grace of gratitude, only need, only can open the hands of acceptance. Verily, open the heart of being accepted by the gift-giver.
This attitude of the acceptance of a gift and of one’s self is essential. For the gift, especially when that of love unconditional, can provoke, will provoke self-doubt about one’s worthiness.
In this, there is purest paradox (that which, at first glance, makes no sense, but, at its heart, embraces and embodies deepest truth): An authentic gift, that is, something given freely, without contemplation or concern for the merit of the receiver, always stirs within the heart of the receiver the question of her/his merit. (The operation and mutual awareness of this dynamic, I think, is one sure way to know whether an authentic gift has been given and received!)
And whilst the vexing self-wonderments about worthiness remain, it is acceptance that encourages, most truly, that allows one to enjoy the gift and to embark on a new stage of one’s life of being and becoming.
© 2020 PRA