Ed asked me yesterday (Dec. 7) if I had sent his Christmas gift, yet. He reminded me of the deadline for getting parcels mailed, so they arrive before Christmas. Then he asked me, “What did you get me for Christmas?”
I confessed that I had tested our friendship again because I did not get him any visible gift. So, I asked Ed if he was ready for an invisible gift, and he wasn't sure it would be better than no present at all. So, then I told him to look forward to a one-of-a-kind, unseeable gift. He said, “It sounds to me that you are losing your marbles.”
A unique gift means getting a gift wrapped in unexpectedness with the power to excite or depress you. Christmas often has a focus on gift-giving and receiving. Gifts often reflect both what others want or need. Sometimes gifts are a way of saying thank you to those we appreciate, such as work associates, mail carriers, doctors, teachers, helpful neighbours and caregivers.
Yes, Ed is correct that most gifts are things you see, touch, smell, hear or taste. They are visible. I believe the best gift you can give someone else is yourself. Giving yourself may not be the best as an in-person gift. Although we like other people, we do not want to see them at our door too often. What is the best way to give yourself as a gift to others?
I believe the best way to give myself to another is through prayer for the person. The Bible speaks of prayer offered in faith as bringing the healing of the sick. Prayer is powerful and effective when we confess our sins and pray for each other. Prayer is powerful when we are patient and do not grumble against others. (James 5:8, 13-16)
The best gift I can give Ed, and everyone is invisible prayer. As I pray to God to bless and help others, I better be praying for myself. I am always also in need of prayers, for God is our power and glory. It is God who knows us fully and what we need. His word directs us towards praying for our growth in His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Following are three prayers for your consideration.
A love prayer: Lord, I search for love in the wrong places and faces, hopes and dreams. Break into my self-centeredness. Please open my eyes to see your loving forgiveness, for me a sinner, in Jesus Christ your Son. Please help me to be bear hugged by your undeserved forgiveness through faith in Jesus.
A joy prayer: Lord, your success, good fortune and well-being are more than events and feelings that come and go. Please help me to see the self-control of Jesus when mocked, his gentleness, patience and kindness, as his forgiveness was extended to those crucifying him. Help me find your peace in the joy of sacrificing so others can discover God's love in Christ here on Earth, which lasts eternally.
An old age prayer: Keep me from becoming a sour older person, but instead help me see good things in familiar places and faces and be thankful for the talents and blessings of those around me.