The Dale is built upon the foundation of love and relationship. That includes our relationship with Jesus, and each other as a community. It means we are free to find peace and hope together, grieve together, celebrate and mourn, eat and worship and build trust and belonging. One important aspect of building relationships is the act of giving AND receiving.
As a staff member of The Dale, one might say I give a lot. I give my time, my space, our resources as an organization, my friendship, prayer, peace, cooking skills, pet sitting… you get the idea. It is my joy to work at The Dale and give these things in love and hope in order to build relationships with many folks in our community and lean into friendship and care. I give very gladly and only for the glory of God who has given me much as well.
However, learning to receive has been a lesson I have leaned into during my time at The Dale, and one I am so glad for. This is an honest truth, one that some of you may feel as well: It can feel awkward for me to receive at times. Especially if the gift comes from the last coins in someone’s pocket, or the business that they work so hard for, or treasures that are few for them. I tend to feel guilty being the recipient of someone’s “stuff” when they may not have much to give. However that is not for me to know or decide. In additions I believe that gifts of the heart are not rooted in money or items. They may BE money or items, but they are rooted in love. And that is what we are learning to receive.
I have been given many coffees, a porcelain turtle figurine, movies, rings and clips, prayer over my child, momos (Tibetan dumplings), granola bars, secrets and tears, hands to hold, forgiveness and love. They all vary in size. But to me, they are worth the same: priceless. They may cost something to give me. But they are worth more than money can buy because they were given in love. Learning to receive love has been a lesson that my value is not in what I can give as a person or what I am worth to someone else. But that we all have love to give in many forms. It shows love to give to someone. And it shows love to receive gladly.
Just like Jesus’ love for us in dying on the cross, it was not because of our value. God knew that we were sinners. And still he made the ultimate sacrifice in love.
It has been a blessing to give of myself. And it has been a blessing to receive. I am so grateful for the care that we share at The Dale that is all done through God’s work through us.
What a gift.
In peace, Meg.
I am a community worker at The Dale ministries. The way that I can earn a living working at The Dale means I must fundraise for my entire salary. The cool thing is that means I can share my work with you in hopes that you will believe in it and want to walk alongside me prayerfully and financially. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat more about what this looks like. Giving can be done monthly or one time via CanadaHelps, cheque, or PAR.