I was trying to decide on a topic tonight and settled on giving. Then I began thinking of all the things I can give but which do not involve spending money. We tend to think of giving in material ways these days. Tonight I tried to focus on giving without spending.
I also realized that sometimes I would want to give without the recipient knowing I was giving, which the Bible suggests we do at times. Other times, I would want the person to know so that they would realize that they meant something to someone. Of course, even an anonymous gift tells the recipient that someone cares.
Non-material gifts can be more varied than I first realized. I could gift someone with a half hour call once a week. I could gift someone, similarly, with a visit. Time is my personal enemy, so my allowing myself the half hour for these things is often more costly to me than spending for a gift. Yet, there are some people I know who would truly value those gifts.
I could gift someone with a free dog walk day, or a let-me-cook-your-meals day, or something equally meaningful.
Probably the best of all gifts in the anonymous category is a simple prayer for someone's needs. My prayer list includes the most obvious folks, the ones I know and love best. It also includes folks I hear about on the news, or from friends, or through some other media during the day. So why not pick someone each day who is very unlikely to have anyone praying for them, and give them the gift of my prayers?
Dear Jesus, please accept this simple gift to you, a gift of a prayer for someone who might not be in anyone else's prayers this day. Please take this person into your heart and bless them according to their most immediate needs, whether material or spiritual.