When the school year started and my children rode the bus for the first time, I sent a small gift for the bus driver with them. When they boarded the bus and handed it to the bus driver she told them, “I cannot hold your drink, sit down.” My kids were shocked. I laughed out loud, probably out of shock, as they looked back ad forth from me to the bus driver. She was genuinely annoyed and looked at me incredulously. After all, I had sent my kids to school with a coffee mug and a container of Dunkin Donuts Coffee. What a first day that was going to be for them!
“Happy New School Year,” I said, “Just a little love from us,” as I moved closer to the bus. She couldn’t accept it. She moved from annoyed to puzzled to baffled. She did not know what to do with it. In fact, she told my kids to “just hold it in their seats.” When they arrived at school she thanked them, softened her heart, smiled, and accepted the gift. But what a time I had convincing my children it was OK to give gifts of love even when people do not know how to receive it. They are often the people who need it most. How rewarding it was to see my children understand how the love of Jesus changes peoples hearts!
When giving love to people who don’t know how to accept it, it is difficult for the giver as well as for the receiver. I want to be clear about the difference between people who do not know how to accept it versus people who are surprised by it. People who don’t know how to accept it want to know why or what the catch is. People who are surprised by it react in love. For example, the afternoon bus driver was moved to tears when the kids gave her a Valentine gift this year. She said, “I don’t know what to say? No one ever gives me anything.” This driver safely delivers my children and other children to school and back each day. She should get a whole lot more than a jar of candy and a pair of socks, don’t you think?
What is it that makes love so unappealing? Is it the effort it takes to give it or the humility it takes to receive it? We all need it. We are all capable of giving it. This is how our Lord has made us. Why is it then that love can sometimes feel awkward. Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another,” John 13:34-35. It is as simple as that.
Have you loved on someone who couldn’t receive it? How rewarding was it to see their heart change?
Have a lovely day, my friends.
“She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12
Photo credit here.