By Claire L. Eva

Summary: Gifts that are given from one heart to another, to meet the deepest needs of another, are the kinds of gifts God gives to his children. Yet, He does not give these gifts for us alone, but to share unstintingly with those around us.

I received many gifts during my years of teaching. Among my treasures, is a blue Cinderella cup that a little freckled-face second grader gave me. I’ve asked myself, Why do I keep the cup? My truest response is, It’s not so much the cup, but the heart that came with it.

I have a relative who is the most thoughtful gift giver, with an ear for hearing the silent hankerings of my heart. One year I was looking for some used silverware from an estate sale. I’d had this longing for silverware to go with my wedding china for some time and hoped this might be an inexpensive way to fulfill my dream. But realizing that such items go first in estate sales, I relinquished the wish. For my birthday that summer, my relative laid her own silverware before me as my gift. I’m not sure she knew what that meant to me.

Another gift from the heart came from my son. He knew I’d anguished over the loss of my recorded collection of children’s stories and songs. Last Christmas he scrutinized the Internet to replace an old recording which included a favorite Bantu tale from Africa. What a profound and meaningful gift!

God gives His gifts like that—straight from His heart to ours. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father. . .(Jm 1:17). He gives us spiritual gifts so that we might give back, share with others and ease the burden of another on our journey home. God gives His gifts with both hands. He doesn’t hold back. After all, hasn’t He already emptied heaven for us?

Let us remember. . .each member belongs to all the others (Rm 12:5). May we use our spiritual gifts freely to sustain and build up one another. As Michael Tucker aptly put it in his sermon: Use your gift in every way possible. . .Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke. But the paradox is, you will be anything but broke!