"Christmas isn't just about giving. It's about getting and about God's Son Emmanuel." ~~ Young Squirreling in Dewey's Treehouse, December 2005
Every family has its own "home words" and shortcuts. One of ours is "some?" It sprouted when the Squirrelings were little and would ask for "some?" Meaning a polite "I don't know exactly what that is you have there, Daddy, but it sure looks good, so can I have some?" Or, on occasion, "Gimme, gimme some or I'll have a meltdown!" It also reminds Mama Squirrel of the story her own mother used to repeat on every family occasion involving pumpkin pie, of the time that Very Little Mama Squirrel's daddy was slicing her a small piece of pie, and when he turned away for a moment to find her a plate, she took the rest of it and left him the small slice.
Over the years, the use of that single word has morphed from an asking word into an offering. Mr. Fixit, particularly, still proffers the plate of toast or whatever with the word "Some?"
It occurs to me that the late philosopher and teacher Dallas Willard might have found use for our word "Some," in his thinking on the Divine Conspiracy. Think of the scenes you've seen on T.V., where someone says, "I'll have some of whatever they're having." It's been used in every sense from the most vulgar to the most literal, and I hesitate even to describe it that way, but it's an image that's worked itself into our culture. Is it possible to think of the Divine Conspiracy as an offering of "Some?" God offers us "Some?" Then we offer Some of What We're Having to those outside the circle? I don't mean so much physical aid, although that's in there; I mean God's gift of Himself. One word only. An asking, or an offering.
It also occurs to me that when we're unsure of "our" gift of the Gospel being accepted or rejected by others, it may be because we think of it as "ours." C.S Lewis describes a small child who asks his father for sixpence to buy him a gift; the father of course is pleased with the gift, and, Lewis says, that's as it should be; but in terms of finances, it all came from the father to start with, right? We make the gift and the giving too complicated.
Maybe all we ever need to offer, or to ask for, is "Some?"
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