On the Thursday of Holy Week, Jesus had a final dinner with his disciples. It was then that Jesus tied a towel around his waist, took a bowl of water and knelt to wash the feet of his friends.
When Jesus came to Peter, Peter said, “No way, Lord. You shall never wash my feet.” I suspect that Peter would have been comfortable washing Jesus’ feet and being in the giving role; however, he wasn’t so comfortable being on the receiving end.
Anthony Robinson says, “We often hear, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ There’s truth in that. But, the saying and its truth may hide another. Giving can be an act of power, while receiving tends to make us vulnerable. It can also be a blessing to receive. And sometimes it’s harder.”
Janet from Huntington, Indiana says, “Karen, in your broadcast please mention from time to time the importance of LETTING people be your care-givers. I often struggle to be independent, as most of us want to be, but there are times when WE are the ones in need, and we must be willing to receive.”
Then Janet recalls a time that she was seeing a counselor when things were tough in her marriage. She says, “One day, as he was setting the next appointment, I told him that I couldn’t return. When he learned that it was because of finances and that I was refusing his offer for free service, he said, ‘We both have needs. I have the need to give and right now you have the need to receive. Please don’t deny me the right to have my need met. Let’s meet each other’s needs.’ And the counseling continued.”
Anthony Robinson reminds us, “For some it is a whole lot easier to give gifts than to receive them. We may be generous givers, but impoverished receivers. When someone gives you a compliment, are you able to receive it?” When a friend asks, “How may I help you during this difficult time?” Do you say, “Oh thanks, but I am doing just fine.” Yes, it can also be a blessing to receive.
Holy One, grant us the grace to be both givers and receivers. Amen.