Daily Bread August 09

Accept These Gifts
Jane Watkins of Lakeland, FL, USA

And it came to pass that there came a voice unto them, yea, a pleasant voice, as if it were a whisper, saying, Peace, peace be unto you, because of your faith in my well beloved, who was from the foundation of the world. -Helaman 2:112

(This week we will be exploring the practice of receiving generosity through a series of stories written and collected by Richard Betts.)

While I was in the hospital with a broken leg, one of the many blue-coated volunteers strolled into my room with a cane. I wondered what her “gig” was. Prayer? Chatting? Back rub? Reading?

This woman stunned me. “I would like to sing to you.”

I shared my love of music and opera. Without any accompaniment, she straightened her back and began to sing at the top of her lungs. She sang early-American folk tunes and was obviously a Stephen Foster fan. I realized the greatest gift was not my entertainment, but her willingness to share her giftedness with others. I applauded wildly at the end of her concert. She smiled, wished me well, and moved on.

The gifts of all are necessary to bring God’s kingdom to reality. We sometimes ponder how we can give our gifts. But are we mindful about receiving others’ giftedness? It may come in surprising packages and in places where we least expect it. But there it is! All part of God’s plan.

Let’s be open people who receive as well as give! When we do, what a blessed day that will be!

Prayer Phrase

Peace, be still (Mark 4:39).

Spiritual Practice

Inner Stillness

In the contemplative tradition, silent prayer is about cultivating a quality of inner stillness. You may visualize the story of Jesus calming the storm as a way of entering into this quality of prayer. Notice how churned up the waters of your soul are currently. As you breathe deeply, imagine a sacred stillness forming within you. What might it look like to engage all your relationships and daily tasks from this place of inner stillness? As you move through your day, notice when you feel stirred up and when you experience inner calm. Take note of patterns and themes. Invite all of your noticing into prayer as you continue to grow deeper in God as the source of your life and action.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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