After lunch, one of my classmates made a comment about how much she appreciated my sharing this with everyone. I simply responded that I was happy to have people to cook for, because for me half of the joy of cooking is getting to share the fruits of my labor. And she then mentioned that she had recently had a visit in which they had discussed how frustrating it must be to have a gift and have no one with whom to share it. At first it sort of boggled my mind that she would make that connection. Because I'm thinking spiritual gifts or talents, and I can't see a crock pot of chicken falling into those categories!
And as that idea kept marinating in my mind, I had to really ask myself "What does it mean to have a gift?" Because I admire lots of gifts in lots of people. The ability to take beautiful photos. A fabulous sense of humor. An exceptionally compassionate heart. The ability to make kick butt baked goods. The ability to be handy and fix things. A spirit of adventure and an ability to try new things. The creativity for amazing artistic expressions. These are all things I aspire towards. And I know that deep down, I have gifts to share. But I have a really hard time naming those.
Maybe it isn't such a stretch to think that food may be one of my gifts. Not in the way that a gourmet chef is gifted, but perhaps as an extension (or manifestation of) the desire to connect people, to facilitate the building of relationships and my compulsion to take care of people. It has indeed been frustrating to not be able to create something and share that something with someone! In fact, without having someone to share it with, there really is no motivation to create.
Of course, in pondering this, I also began to think about what it means to share. As grown-ups, we use the word "sharing" to generally mean the same thing as giving of oneself. But when we attempt to teach the concept as children or try to think about the definition, we equate it to "taking turns", which involves both giving and receiving. I think we lose something in forgetting what it is to also receive as a part of the act of sharing. Maybe it doesn't happen right away or you don't receive the same thing in return, but you are still sharing. It's something I will continue to think on.
So now that I've had my turn to give my thoughts, it's your turn! (See how this works?) What do you think about in terms of sharing? What gifts do you have to share? How do you like to share them?