I'm a horrible gift-giver. It takes me forever to think about what would delight another person, and so I abandon the task altogether. Other folks present beautiful, timely, unexpected gifts to their friends just because they saw something and thought to themselves, "My friend would love this."
I wish I were a better gift-giver! I think of the kinds of "good gifts" God rains down--often beautiful, timely, and unexpected blessings. I want to learn how to reflect that goodness to others.
Yesterday, a former student of mine asks if I'll meet her on campus because she has a little gift for me. Nothing special, she tells me.
When she arrives with some other students, she pushes across the table a jar of Coconut Satin and Silk Lotion from a little company called Soaps and Such out in Auburn, New York. Over her holiday break, she figured out how to find some for me.
"It's the smell you always commented on--the lotion smell you said you loved," she says, smiling. "You can't buy it anywhere but from this one place. It's homemade."
I open the jar and smell the coconut lotion that transports me to a tropical paradise. We all pass it around and lather our hands with it.
Last year, as I walked by this student's desk to return her papers, I would linger and say, "What is that smell? It smells just like coconut! I wish I smelled like that all day."
I'd be writing on the chalkboard, and I'd start craving coconut cake.
It was her Coconut Satin and Silk Lotion.
That was six months ago.
The student observes the tiniest detail and remembers. It wasn't a particularly expensive gift. It wasn't large or even wrapped. But it changed my whole day.
These sorts of gifts challenge me to observe and remember so I can bless others. I don't know what I loved more: the gift or the fact that she remembered I like the smell of coconut.
Living with flair means I observe, remember, and bless others with tiny gifts.
Journal Question: Sometimes I experience little blessings all day that show me God is watching and knows all the things I love. As I learn to reflect God's love, am I watching closely what tiny, simple things others love so I might give a gift to bless them?