I’m not, by gifting, a crafty person.
As in making crafts, not the indirect, deceitful kind. Though I do have my days.
Creating with friends, however, is another story.
Our group from work had a bonding time one afternoon when we spent time making boards, trays, and a variety of other things out of wood. None of us are carpenters; several of us were quite innovative in what we made.
I struggle to make decisions when the options are overwhelming. I had to pick a project, colors, and technique, a process that flooded my brain with “what ifs”. What if I didn’t like the color after I was finished? What if I made a mess of the project I picked? What if something was better that I could have made?
I wandered around the shop and watched others make their projects. I will admit to a little jealousy as I saw the inventiveness of others, their project choices, and the colors they chose. I questioned whether I’d done the wrong thing.
People were quite complimentary of my finished piece. Several of us did the same project–a silhouette of the Nativity. Each one was different and beautiful in its own way.
All I could think of was mine was less than everyone else’s.
God tells us that what we have to offer, both for Him and for others is a reflection of what He’s given us.
Jesus was in the Temple area one day, watching people as they put their gifts in the collection box. The Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day, often made a big deal of how much they put in. They gave with obvious bravado so they’d be seen as generous. Their image was important to them.
A widow came by and very discreetly dropped in two small coins, about the value of two cents.
“He said, ‘The plain truth is that this widow has given by far the largest offering today. All these others made offerings that they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford–and she gave her all!’” Luke 21:3-4
This woman never asked for this life. Widows in those days were at the bottom of the social scale, especially if they had no children or other family members to provide for them. But this woman gave all she had, not in embarrassment but with a generous heart.
Each of us has a different story to tell and a different skill set to utilize. When we give our best effort to whatever endeavor we’re attempting, we will never be less than–we will have done as much as could be expected of us.
The problem too often is we want to be seen as better than we are. Or we only show what we deem is good enough for public comment. We miss the authenticity and creativity of offering our best selves.
God values what we offer Him from our hearts.
I’ve looked at my project since bringing it home, and I’m beginning to value the effort I put in and how it turned out. It’s all me. My best shot.
I can’t ask for anything else.