The Landscape that Gives

I painted the above before fully knowing what it meant. It began as a response to message I heard. Now, as I allow being done unto by the painting, it says far more to me than I first intended.

I grew up in a generous family. I was actively engaged in a church that reached out, helping people who were in need. While I am grateful for the teaching and concrete practices that helped me learn to give, I now see how much of my giving, in the beginning, was externally motivated.

I suppose that I could say that I did good works to measure up to an expectation. But as I have settled into who I am, I give because I cannot live another way.

In the beginning, much of my giving was outside of myself. It was not that I did not care or that I was void of compassion, but it felt like an add-on, just like the hands on the painting. While it is necessary to teach children and adolescents a generous way of living; it is imperative to grant them permission to give from their innermost being.

Imagine how much more the painting would give if I had painted the hands as ancient petroglyphs in the rocks or momentary reflections in the water. The painting would carry a feeling of confidence in being exactly what it was intended to be. It might even evoke something in you, by simply giving of itself.

Being is a type of giving that heals the soul. When we become comfortable in who we are at our very essence, we have the capacity to give of ourselves through attentive presence, deep listening, words, tangible gifts or some other specific thing needed at that particular time.

God is already giving everything that is necessary in this moment. Am I able to respond from the deep abiding of Spirit within me and co-create? Do I dare to enjoy the privilege of being a witness to such a sacred encounter?

Sacred Ruminations*