Twenty or so years ago, I was exchanging Christmas gifts with a new-found friend.


We had similar interests and the friendship seemed to be a very easy one.


Gifts are one of my love languages, so I was excited to start this new tradition with my new friend.


I didn’t have to fake surprise, I was indeed surprised. But – I did have to muster up some gratitude.


She was so excited. I was not.


Who gives someone dead butterflies?


Never mind that they were actually quite beautiful. The wings were brilliant blue and yellow.


But I couldn’t see the beauty because I couldn’t get passed my limited, judgmental view of the gift.


Has anyone ever given you a gift, but you didn’t want it?


Friar Richard Rohr writes, “It’s a paradox that God’s gifts are totally free and unearned, and yet God does not give them except to people who really want them, choose them, and say “yes” to them. This is the fully symbiotic nature of grace. Divine Loving is so pure that it never manipulates, shames, or forces itself on anyone. Love waits to be invited and desired, and only then rushes in.”


Do we really want the gift of God’s grace?


Do we allow the space for Love to rush in?


This week, as we continue our series on prayer, we are going to explore opening ourselves to that prayerful space and being intentional about being gracious receivers. The exact opposite of the way I reacted with the dead butterflies.


I still have them, by the way.

I keep them in a place that causes me to see them every day.

They serve as a reminder that beauty comes in strange ways.


May we experience the unmistakable beauty of God’s love and grace.


Grace and Peace,