I received a divine birthday gift, given to me on my actual birth day that I might spend my life giving it away; and instead I found it, just this week, buried in the back of the closet. The sad thing is I hadn’t even realized it had been misplaced. It got set down for a moment, or for a few days, then other things came up — work, kids’ activities, life’s dramas — and before long my gift was bumped back, bit by bit, into the dark recesses of storage as more pressing matters got stacked in front of it. Before long it disappeared without being missed (almost) at all.
This Fall I enrolled in a master’s level theology class. Although I finished my degree six years ago with full intentions of continuing studies, those plans were sidetracked by jobs, children, marriage, life. It wasn’t until I cracked the text for the first reading assignment of the class that it dawned on me how intensely I had missed that gift for learning after all. And it wasn’t until the professor graded the first couple of papers that I reconnected the dots to the gift of writing.
In speaking of these gifts, I don’t mean to say that I am personally gifted of my own volition, rather that I have received these gifts from God that, when used properly, allow me to know him and glimpse him in ways that I cannot do by other means. The channels that God has given me by which to know him are those of learning and of writing. When engaged in these activities I feel like I am doing what I was created to do. Just a few pages into reading the challenging texts of class, I felt — and others observed — a physical change within me, as though the beginning of a healing. I felt lighter, energized, happy; and these are things I had not felt for quite some time.
It’s a little scary re-claiming these gifts, precisely because they are important to me. If they were of no consequence, there would be no feeling attached. There would be only apathy. So, yes, it is scary to acknowledge before God and before all that this is how I experience God and glimpse his love for me. To do so is to open myself to critique, but not to do so is to sit in a room, alone, with my gifts, and that is not what I believe God means me to do.
So, this is a beginning, as I enter my last lap through my 40’s. The posts that appear on this page will be deeply personal, as I encounter in words God, who loves me; and my prayer is that through the same posts you will in some way encounter God, who loves you.
Peace be with you.