Even after blogging about spiritual (as well as physical) well-being for a long time, I am still amazed by the way that things are juxtaposed in life some days. Yesterday was the last time that I am likely ever to see Fr. Hank Hilton say mass. He used the midnight readings rather than the Christmas Eve readings (at last for the first reading). The first reading was from Isaiah--talking about how a child will be born who will be known as wonder counselor, etc. The priest had us listen for reference to the day of Midian, and then reminded us of how this tied back to Judges 6 & 7. He reminded us also of how Gideon loved his fellow Israelites and wondered how God could still care given all that had been done wrong. Fr. Hank described it as "God loving how we love each other". That is a powerful idea--that God loves the way we show love for each other--especially when it is a selfless love that requires nothing in return.
I feel like this year has been a year of learning (and being reminded) how to give such love--within my family and to others (through things like Back on My Feet).
What is amazing is that my six year old was very focused on gifts he received today with a couple exceptions. First, he took one of the five pieces of candy that he had bought to give as gifts and gave it to our next door neighbor. Second, when he decided on the last book to read before he went to bed, he chose The Quiltmaker's Gift. This is a story about the joy that is found in giving.
Giving and loving go hand in hand. Certainly love does not come when one only expects to receive. The lessons one can learn from a child's insights--whether implicit or explicit--never cease to amaze.