Imitating God through gift giving
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17
I was thinking about gift giving over Christmas and was wondering about its ramifications (someday I will remember that ramifications has one "m") as I drove into work this morning. As God's image on the earth I should imitate Him by giving gifts. Some of these gifts can be of the traditional wrapping-paper-and-bow-variety while others can be more of the gift of my presence or attention to the people that I love and have been called to serve. Whether I choose the one gift type or the other I am acting like God when I give gifts - I fulfill what I have been called to do (bear God's image) by doing things that He does (giving gifts).
But then I wonder about the whole gift-giving process. Of course I can't leave well enough alone so I wondered whether the emotions that I feel in the pursuit of the perfect gift and the pleasure I receive in seeing the gift received and enjoyed are shared by God too. I wonder how much fun it was for God to give me the van driver job that I had and watch me drive that van full of older adults around knowing that it would lead me to the greatest gift He has ever given me - my wife. Was He as happy about the arrangement of those circumstances than I was when I purchased that Petra album for my youngest son off of Amazon last month?
And what of the enjoyment that I have knowing that my oldest has been enjoying the Angry Birds board game that I scored for him at Target? Does God smile when He showed me the way cool clouds last night that I could not stop snapping photos of with my phone as I drove home yesterday? And then I wonder if His smile is a giddy, child-like one or if it is one that I have when I am in my more mature moods acting like an adult? Does He tap an angel on the shoulder and point saying, "Get a load of that guy! Isn't that cool?" Does He then tap the Son on the shoulder drawing His attention to the same thing?
I love James 1:17 because it speaks of one of my favorite attributes of God - His immutability. I am also liking it more and more as it tells me that represent Him well to a lost world when I give presents and presence to those I love.