Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Giving Gifts (and a little on the Lion and the Lamb)

When I turned 50, my family gave me a beautiful piece of artwork entitled "Peace and Love" by Jim Shore.  I've always loved the imagery of the lion and the lamb together (long before the Twilight series employed it in books and film).

I wanted it to be from the Isaiah 11:6-9 passage which speaks of the peaceable kingdom, but while the lion and the lamb both exist in that passage, they don't actually come together.
    The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
    The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
    The infant will play near the hole of the cobra and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.
    They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
Where does this imagery actually come from?  From my other favorite book of Scripture - Revelation 5:5-6.  In this passage, John is weeping because there is no one worthy to open the scroll.  An elder stops him and says, "Look the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals."  John then goes on to say, "I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne ..."

The Lion and the Lamb are one and the same and are found in the person of Jesus Christ.  That's really something amazing!

That's the explanation for my love of this image.  However, I'm afraid I went off on a tangent.  The purpose of writing this blog was going to be about gift-giving.

You see, my friend Fran, gave me another sculpture of the Lion and Lamb image by the same artist for my birthday.  It is gorgeous!  I absolutely adore the way the two animals look as if they are whispering to each other.

She gave me some really great gifts for my birthday. I was telling my sister about them and Carol made the comment that Fran really is awesome at giving gifts.  It is Fran's love language.  Every single gift she gave  was something she knew about me and had translated into a gift.

I'm an Iowa Hawkeyes fan and really the only candy I eat any more is m&ms.  That translated into this (sans Yoda):

We've enjoyed a few peach bellinis in our dinners out and I received a bottle of wine and a frozen bellini mix.  I have to tell you that when I pulled out the wine, she confused me, because I'm really not a big wine drinker and I couldn't believe that she had given me something like that.  Then I pulled out the bellini mix and it all came together.

See, the gifts were not about her ... they were what she knew about me.

Sometimes we give gifts because we think someone needs something and don't bother to understand whether they do or not.  The gifts are based on our thoughts and desires rather than theirs.  Some gifts are giving to bring attention back to the giver, not because it is anything at all the person would use or desire.

Some gifts are given because a friend shares out of their talent or bounty ... that is an entirely different and wonderful type of gift because then I get to learn about the things that you love and I will get a chance to fall in love with that as well. I have a friend here who has given me food from her garden and jars of honey they've harvested.  I had no idea they had honeybees, but she exposed me to something glorious!

Gifts that are given heart to heart are gifts that transmit love.  Not everyone has gift giving as their love language, but we all have the opportunity to share love through gifts.

1 comment:

Fran said...

I love you! Just thought you should know. {smile}