Have you ever given a gift that you didn’t intend to give?

I was leaving my staff Christmas breakfast, and I had pulled out a couple bucks to tip the valet when two of my co-workers whispered “You gotta do $5 for this hotel.
My penny-pinching default magically morphed into Christmas generosity (with a slight twinge of peer pressure), as I stuffed the ones back in and pulled out a $5. Driving away, I headed to the dry cleaners to pick up some clothes, and when I reached into my wallet for my $20, I froze.
It was gone. I had accidentally given it to the valet.
I dismissed the thought of racing back to the hotel and trying to trade my tip (though I’m ashamed to admit the humiliating scenario actually did cross my mind).
It was over. Grace happened.
And there was nothing I could do take it away.

I then began to create some scenarios in my mind of where this guy spent his tips when he had a good day. An aging mother.  A sick wife. Diapers for a new baby. Joe’s bar down on State.
But it suddenly dawned on me that at the end of the day it didn’t matter what he did with it.
What mattered was he got it.

The magic was in the gift.

I think about all the times I give with some kind of ulterior motive.
I hope he appreciates it.
I hope I get something back.
I hope my tax write off helps.
I hope my coins don’t buy him liquor.
I hope she makes something of her life.

But the truth is, we don’t ever really know the end result of our gifts.  As the cross starkly illustrates, our gift might look like a waste. We may just have to give it time.

And every once in a while we get a glimpse of what God can do in his time when we do give a gift.
This Utube video illustrates that fact. (you may be tempted to skip this, but DON’T. You won’t be sorry) http://www.youtube.com/embed/WxjZB5S_g7s?rel=0
May Sue McKay inspires us this season as we give our accidental tips, drop change in homeless hands, and give…whatever we can- whenever we can- to the person in our path who needs it.

Because as we celebrate once more this Christmas, It’s in the gift that God resides.


For ideas on how to make small gifts count, visit http://buck4good.com/ .  God is in the gift!