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Tuesday, May 29, 2007
In Free of Charge, Mioslav Volf argues that we cannot be the initial givers to God who then expect reciprocity, because all things came from God as gifts to us in the first place, even our lives. This makes me think of how my a child can reason, "It's my room! I can do what I want," while I parent thinks, "Yeah, but who pays the mortgage?" Or a child says, "I'll give you my red car if you'll buy me a new fire engine." And mom or dads thinks, "Wait, I gave you that red car for Christmas." On the otherhand, if a child gives a parent a picture made with all her love and creativity, simply because, then I don't know any parent who dismisses the value of the gift on account of the fact that Daddy bought the crayons and Mommy supplied the paper.

In what spirit to do we offer our gifts to God? How can we be the child we'd love to parent? What thoughts come to mind when you put yourself in God's shoes (or at least try ;)?

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posted by Jemila Kwon at 8:43 AM ¤ Permalink ¤


  • At 5/29/2007 10:33:00 AM, Blogger Julie

    It reminds me of this passage from Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis (which btw is where the band Sixpence none the Richer got its name) -

    "Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given to you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already. So that when we talk of a man doing anything for God or giving anything to God, I will tell you what it is really like. It is like a small child going to his father and saying, 'Daddy, give me sixpence to buy you a birthday present.' Of course, the father does, and he is pleased with the child's present. It is all very nice and proper, but only an idiot would think that the father is sixpence to the good on the transaction. When a man has made these two discoveries, God can really get to work. It is after this that real life begins. The man is awake now..."

  • At 5/29/2007 07:00:00 PM, Blogger Kimberly

    Love CS Lewis-as usual he lays it all out so clearly. One of the things I love as a parent is watching my kids when they are experiencing life to the fullest, not please me or as a "gift" for me per se, but just doing what they were created to do. Whether its skateboarding, making a joke, or concentrating on a musical instrument, I love it when they have thrown themselves into life and are loving what they are doing. It brings me such joy and I have this feeling that I started something and somehow am a part of that. It is an unintentional gift to me. I wonder if God feels this way?

  • At 5/30/2007 08:30:00 AM, Blogger Linda

    I think you're right, Kimberly (and you, too, Julie and Jemila).

    It seems logical that the best and holiest things in our own parenting are a reflection or glimpse of God's toward us. Further, I believe that God is delighted in us much more often than we are even with our own children. In our human condition and discontent, we can sometimes miss the beauty of our children's gifts of living life to the full, but God does not. He is not bogged down by the things that cause us to misunderstand or overlook these gifts.

    Years ago I felt that I had to be serious and pray and read my Bible a lot in order to be a "good child." But now I feel the smile of God when I'm hiking trails with my family, baking cookies, writing an email (or blog comment :-)), having a conversation with a friend, or reading a good book. I'm no longer earning brownie points with God because I know that my kids don't have to earn them with me. And surely, God is a better parent than me!

  • At 5/30/2007 12:50:00 PM, Blogger Jemila Monroe

    Julie, I like that C.S. quote. Kimberly, beautifully expressed. I so resonate! And Linda, such a breath of fresh air your freedom!

  • At 5/30/2007 02:49:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    This post reminds me of a very short article that I wrote (here: http://womenbeyond.com/?c=127&a=1141) rethinking what it could mean that "every knee would bow". In old times, it was a gift-giving position..


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