“Imagine that we could live each moment as a moment pregnant with new life. Imagine that we could live each day as a day full of promises. Imagine that we could walk through the new year always listening to the voice saying to us: ‘I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it! Imagine'” (Henri Nouwen).
I have devoted many years to attempting to live in the moment, with varying degrees of success. I have also worked on bringing a positive presence into the world; the onslaught of Donald J. Trump for the past three years has gotten the best of me in that spiritual discipline. However, when I read, “I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it,” I was filled with hope. The Creator of the Universe has a gift for me and is filled with anticipation as to whether I will find it and what I will do with it.
What if I could wake up every morning in 2020 and before I maneuver my rickety old body off the bed hear God say, “I have a gift for you and can’t wait for you to see it.” How would that change my day? And how would those days change my year? How would that change me?
I began to ponder. What might those gifts be?
Maybe the gift as I limp into the Cancer Center will be the renewal of God’s promise long ago on the shores of Lake Michigan, “My child I will always take care of you.”
Maybe the gift will be a “Wow, look at that, Karen” so I notice a baby’s smile, a courteous driver, a helpful sales clerk, a flourishing plant, a turn of phrase in a new book,
Or perhaps my gift will be an idea for a food my husband might be willing to try, or a joke I ran across to lift his spirits. Or perhaps my gift would be a prompting to go in his room and sit quietly by his bed and keep him company. And now that I think about it, maybe the time when I was ready to pop off with a critical comment and suddenly saw it as mean and unnecessary was a gift from God.
My gift could be a scripture verse, or a musical phrase, or a memory that pops into my mind and brings me joy. It could be an encouraging thought during a dark day or a reminder to deal positively with whatever the day brings.
If I am willing to listen, my gift could be a jolt when I recognize I am about to say something critical or mean or share something a friend has told me in confidence. The gift could be a kind response to a negative person, a reminder that God delights in him or her, too.
The idea of this project is not to expect gifts from God, but rather to live in anticipation of communing with God and to respond in a way that brings him pleasure. Imagine!