There is a gift that exists which is given to everyone. It’s found in the deep. It’s mined from the smallest nuances within the very warp and woof of life. Like manna, this gift must be unwrapped everyday and it cannot be stored for tomorrow. Yesterday’s gift was for yesterday only.
This gift is behind and beyond all of the presents we open on Christmas. It lies beneath the surface of every material thing, but is not the thing itself. This gift is what makes every note of every song we love so good, and it’s precisely what is missing from music we loath. It’s behind the nutrients of the food that sustains our lives, and found in the labor of those who bring, prepare and provide it. This gift is the light that makes color colorful. It’s every word that proceeds from the voice of wisdom.
The gift seems like nothing, but is actually everything. It has no dimension and seems unknowable, yet we know it all too well. It’s weightless, but possesses such gravity and glory. The gift is opened at the welcome or the loss of a loved one. It makes everything we do worth doing. The perfect wave, the perfect line, the perfect jump, landing, or step eek us closer to it. Suffering, loss, and pain ensure we can’t miss it.
Sorrow is skimming through life with our gift unopened. I can buy you anything a man can make, but this you have to find for yourself. You can chase every dream you dream, but I cannot give you this gift. This is the gift of God, the gift of Spirit, wind, or breath. We can’t catch what we don’t see coming, nor can we go to what we can’t see going. We can only be with it, join it, and abide in it moment by moment. A day without it is a day squandered.
The gift of God is this moment. It’s the gift of reality, not as it is for us, but as it is. It’s right here despite our lack or abundance, despite our skill or will, despite our rights and wrongs. It’s offered freely, generously, benevolently with no strings, loopholes or caveats. The gift has a name: Emmanuel; God with us, among us, all of us. The means to the gift are endless, the gift is singular. No other word but salvation can describe such proximity in the moment.
Freedom results from our daily unwrapping.