A few weeks back I cranked up my fancy blender and made honey roasted peanut butter. It’s a sort of special treat. I had a massage appointment soon thereafter, so I took a jar of this homemade yumminess to my massage therapist. My shoulders are often so tight that I feel sorry for her mission to loosen the muscles and help me stay able to turn my head with ease, so a token of appreciation seemed in order. She was quite pleased. I promptly forgot that I had taken it to her, until yesterday.
When I arrived for my appointment she handed me the same [sort of fancy canning] jar that had born the peanut butter. But, now it was filled with honey from her hives. (Isn’t it great to know someone who can give a wonderful massage and also keeps bees? I think so.) When I explained that this was totally unnecessary, she told me that she had been taught that you don’t return these sorts of things empty. So, she shared with me her gift. She also gave me another gift, I think. That gift was an understanding that I am called to accept and enjoy the gifts God gives me, and in return, it is a good idea to return the vessel with an offering of my own. It’s not required. I never told her I wanted the jar back. But, it brings joy on both sides when there is a return. I begin to make concrete the idea that God loves me and that is a gift freely given. But, the relationship, and the growth come out of my openness and response to that gift.
And — I really the honey!