Last night before I fell asleep I thought about my upcoming day and when giving opportunities might present themselves. Cami Walker, author of 29 Gifts, encourages giving to be spontaneous, not planned. For me, I have to have the mindset that I am looking to give. I need a plan, or otherwise I can just muddle through my days. My pre-giving thoughts are kind of my plan B if the spontaneity doesn’t happen. And then just before 7A this morning, spontaneity happens. Is this really a gift? In my heart I think so. You tell me.
Here’s the picture. Hannah has left her hair cutting bag at a friend’s house three miles away. Since today Friday is Hannah’s day to cut hair at Durgin Pines Nursing Home in Kittery, Hannah asks me to pick her bag up. But driving to support Hannah is not the gift, though I guess it counts as mini-gift 2A. Then her friend calls to ask Hannah if I’d like a cup of coffee when I get there. I decline, just wanting to get there and back. And then I think, Am I missing the chance to give Hannah’s friend a gift?
Here’s my gift: To linger if the opportunity presents itself. If her friend asks me in for a cup, I’ll take the time and hang out with her for ten or fifteen minutes. My morning routines can wait; I’ll still get to my York Hospital advisors meeting on time. Without the conscientious attention of gift giving, I would have missed this chance. As I pull in, her friend hands me the hair cutting bag and a Styrofoam cup of coffee for me “to go.” My gift to spend time with her friend does not happen. Is it a gift if it is not literally given? Can you have gifts of a willing heart?