pastoral/spiritual care

Bless the Giver and Bless the Receiver

It was like déjà vu, all over again, as Yogi Berra says.  My oldest daughter, 19 years old, had just received a very unexpected “care package” from our church where we are members.  At first I wondered why she had received a package and even began to try to guess what was located in the stuffed 5 inch by 8 inch envelope.  I quipped to myself, “Surely they would not be sending tithing envelopes in such a large envelope!”

As it turned out it was a care package from the hearts and hands of the College Ministry at the church.  She had received her first ever care package for Exam Week.  I almost cried as I reflected back to 1988, over twenty years ago, when I served as a volunteer campus minister for a new Baptist Campus Ministry being sponsored by the church who had called me to help them reach out to the campus community and students at West Chester University in Pennsylvania.  West Chester University is my wife’s alma mater, which makes it even more significant and special.  This is also the church where I was ordained to the ministry. 

I could not believe that my daughter was now receiving something I had helped to initiate and implement at our church who was interested in helping college students more than 20 years ago.  I was deeply touched this time realizing that my daughter was now the receiver and even I too, as I gave thanks for the good gifts that she had received.  Twenty years ago, and one generation later, we are now the receivers of what we once gave—good will, chocolate, candy, gum wrapped with some prayers. 

It is good to be both giver and receiver and how true that is for me and my daughter. 

Dear God, I pray that we will be both givers and receivers.  Help us to be givers and receivers with humble hearts.  Amen.

-- Chaplain George Rossi


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