GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection

#35 — March 1, 2015

Giving simply because it is right to give, without thought of return, at a proper time, in proper circumstances, and to a worthy person, is enlightened giving.

— Bhagavad Gita 17.20

Greetings, Inspired Seeker!

What are you giving up for Lent? What are you giving to the tithing plate? What are you giving away as you clean out your closets at the end of the winter? These are all questions that are traditionally asked at this time of year, depending upon which beliefs you honor in your household. Personally, I think they are the wrong questions. Oh, they mean well in their asking, but they miss the point.

Most of the time when we think about giving, we focus on the end result — because that is what the world thinks about. Sacred readings, however, offer a different perspective. The book of Luke declares, “Give and it will be given to you.” The Buddha said, “When you see someone practicing the Way of giving, aid him joyously, and you will obtain vast and great blessings.” And in the Qur'an it is written, “Give not with the thought to gain, and be patient unto thy Lord.” Hmm … Most sacred writings encourage giving, but it is the act itself that is the focus. Not so for us — I know. During those times I have given up chocolate, all I can think about is when I can, once again, enjoy this treat without incurring the wrath of the Universe. And I feel sooo self-righteous while doing it! And also in those moments, I am living in the future and not in the present. Because a present without chocolate is. not. fun.

The question is really, simply — What are you giving? Period. Of your time, your talent or your treasure. It matters not. It only matters that we give in a way that acknowledges the need in front of us. That we reach out to the hands before us. That we make a compassionate offering of support in a way that is needed by that person at that moment. And thus, through our giving, we make a small difference in the world and, perhaps, a big difference to another human.

In that moment, in that exchange, we enter into communion. We are fully present and we simply and thoughtfully respond to a need. Give. Leave the results to God and be filled with the Divine Spirit of abundance, generosity and compassion. That chocolate will taste so much more delicious when you do, finally, have a piece!

Grace-Fully Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Affirmation of the Month: I give. Simply. With great love.

It’s wedding planning season! If you would like a ceremony specially crafted and celebrated for you and your beloved, The Reverend Dr. Deborah Darlington would welcome your call at 215 260 1611 or drop her a line at You deserve a day that expresses and celebrates your love in a completely personal way!