When You Have Nothing Left to Give, Be the Gift

Give the gift of yourself like God does in the Incarnation, on the Cross, in the Eucharist.

It started with a gentle tug on my sheets and a soft whisper in my ear:

“Mom, my belly hurts.”

Those words had the power to throw me out of bed.  I quickly scooped my 3yo daughter into my arms and made a stumbling dash into the bathroom.

When she was done emptying her stomach, I tucked her in bed next to me and hushed her back to sleep.

Ten minutes later, we were sprinting to the bathroom again.

I gave her everything I could give to help her through.  A ponytail.  A back rub.  A sip of water.  Gentle, comforting words.  A wet wipe for her sour lips.  I carried her to the bathroom, carried her back.

Every time we started to doze, her stomach would gurgle and we were back to business.

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This scene played on repeat all. night. long.

Until we were too tired to keep running to the bathroom, so we grabbed a bucket to put in our bed.

Until the sky peeked in around the edges of the window curtain.

Until I could no longer even drag myself to a sitting position next to her as she heaved.

Until all I could do was pull the bucket closer when she needed it again.  Push it farther away when she was done.  And draw her back down into my embrace to hold and comfort her until fate struck again.

I could do nothing more to help her.

All I could do was be with her.

It was then, when I had nothing left to give, that I became the gift.

My God, You were the first to give.

You gave me light for my days and dark for my nights.  You gave me food to eat.  A beautiful world to live in.  An entire universe to learn about.

And when You were done giving all these good things, You Yourself became the Gift.

You gave Yourself to me in the Incarnation. 

Just to be there with me.  To let me feel Your Presence and Your love.  To know You are here beside me.

When You walked on earth, You gave me the Way to live my life.  The teachings revealing Yourself and the loving family I have in You.  The path to follow to get to Heaven.

Then You gave me Yourself on the cross. 

You became the sacrifice.  You stood in my place.  Your death gave me life, freedom, forgiveness.

You gave me the Church to be my guide.  The Holy Father to lead me.  Dedicated priests to teach me.  The Bible and Traditions to help me live a holy life.

Then You gave me Yourself in the Eucharist. 

The most amazing of gifts where You are consumed by me.  You become a part of me, and You draw me up to be a part of Yourself.

The Eucharist is not a vending machine.  I don’t stand in that communion line to get my dole of graces.  No, I receive the Eucharist to enter into relationship with You.  To receive the incredible gift of Yourself that You offer to me so freely.

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In the Incarnation, on the Cross, in the Eucharist, You teach me that generosity isn’t about just giving.  It’s about becoming a gift to someone else.

When I had nothing left to give my poor sick daughter, I found a way to give more.

I gave her the comfort of my presence, of being there by her side in her suffering.

I gave her my love.

I gave her myself.

And that was enough.

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Reflection Questions:

Write your thoughts in your prayer journal, or share them in a comment below.

  1. What is one time when you gave and gave until you had nothing left to give?
  2. What is one time when the gift you gave was the gift of yourself?
  3. God gives Himself fully to you in the Eucharist.  How can you enter more deeply into relationship with Him while He is so really and fully present – a living part of you?

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