Monday, May 23, 2011

Come Bearing Gifts

Just a few of Jamie's priceless gifts . . .
I had the most delightful lunch with a friend today. 

Jamie Chavez worked at Thomas Nelson when I started there as an intern. Then (fast-forward several years) when we both found ourselves bearing the title of "Freelancer," we decided it would be a good idea to whine and cheer and brainstorm over lunch on a regular basis. Plus, we both live in the same college town.

But that's pretty much where the similarities end.

She's a baby-booming Democrat. (Need I say "staunch"?) I'm a Gen-X Republican. She has an empty nest. I'm still feeding birds. She's a Mac. I'm a PC. She's always on time. I'm always, well, not.

We have lively discussions.

And we each bring our gifts. She, the gifts of experience, realism, discipline, drive, determination. Me? Well, she would have to speak to that, but I think I bring optimism, a laugh, and a differing perspective.

Today, Jamie and I exchanged tangible gifts. In times of economic difficulty, it may seem frivolous to conduct such an act when there's not so much as a birthday to celebrate. Or, one may argue, it's the very reason why we should dig deep and bring more. Feast or famine, when we take time to consider it, we'll find that we all have our gifts to share--be they of the tangible or the more valuable intangible variety.

To Jamie, I brought garden-fresh radishes and treats I had picked up in her home 'country' of California (as a thank-you, more than anything, for her CA travel advice). And for me it was a gorgeous bouquet of "foraged" (as she calls it) items from her back yard: mint and roses, lemon verbena and rosemary.

We all have priceless gifts to bring to the table. And they don't have to cost a thing.

What gifts can you offer to a friend--or even a stranger--today? 

Whatever it is, don't hesitate. I assure you: your reward will always be greater than the cost.

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