both ways

Both Ways – March 1, 2011

My dad was a private person

I once again understand how odd it is for me to say my dad, the preacher who stood in front of hundreds of people every week and shared from his life, was a private person but he was. It’s kind of the same as me not really being an open person.

But I write here and he spoke there.

I learned the most from my dad during our Thursday coffees so there’s a good chance most of the stories this week will start there.

And while we were sitting, talking, laughing and drinking coffee my private dad would open up. He would talk about life and his struggles. He would talk about how his life fit or at times didn’t fit with his understanding of God and what that meant. He would ask me ‘Philip (he always called me Philip never Phil and to this day I still don’t know why Phil bothered him so much) why me?”

I didn’t know. To be honest no one knows they why bad thing happen to good people. But we talked about it. We struggled and we talked.

Sure there are great theological reasons and there are great rational but in the end when your sitting there in real life does it make it easier? I would argue not. But what I think does is doing life with people.

My dad taught me to get past myself, my fears and my insecurity to do life with people. To open up and be vulnerable.

So the obvious question here is what does this have to do with giving?

If you want to love people and give to people you need to do life with them. But part of doing life with people is that it must go both ways. We need to be available and open to receive giving from other people just as we want to pour into them. This is about being open and in doing that giving other people the chance to pour into you, to do life with you and to be there for you like the way you intend to be there for them.

How can we expect people to allow us to give to them when we ourselves are to closed or too scared to open up and allow someone to bless us? If your not open and honest about who you are and where you are at then there will be something missing in all the giving you do. There will be something missing in the stories and experiences you share. The lack of true and honest relationship will take away from your giving.

Giving is about others, it’s about being other centered. But for me, my dad taught me that I need to be just as open and just a willing to be blessed as those I hope to bless.

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