Last night I watched “The Passion of the Christ” again and just like the first time I saw it, had a visceral response. Even though it’s a film, it’s hard to watch someone I know be beaten and flogged for my sin. Each time I hear/read/watch the story, I’m reminded of what He did for me and how badly I’d like to do something, anything in return. But what do I have? Today, the day between Good Friday and Easter, seems like the ideal day to reflect on giving back to the Lord for all He’s done for me.
George Macdonald wrote, “The last act of our Lord in thus commending his spirit at the close of his life, was only a summing up of what he had been doing all his life. He had been offering this sacrifice, the sacrifice of himself” during His entire time on earth. And, I’m reminded, He didn’t do it because he had to, but because he wanted to, which is why He’s called a Servant King. How does one give back? What could possibly be good enough?
I’ve recently been frustrated with all the things I can‘t do because of a condition that sidelines me – this year more than most. But this year, I have begun two new volunteer opportunities. Guess that’s God’s way of telling me that even with less time, I still have time to give. And He knows I love it. It’s probably because I grew up with a volunteering mom. When I was in 6th grade we spent dozens of hours each Christmas holiday wrapping presents at the mall for our school. It was so tiring but we loved it. I remember Wednesdays was the day she volunteered at the hospital and later, a number of other organizations over the years.
I’m not sure how intentional she was in thinking that her time was the Lord’s but I believe that strongly now. He gave me gifts and inclinations. He’s shown me that when I use them with people who give me a joy-jolt, it’s super fun. Recently I read about a man who told the Spirit, “All that I am I hand over to you for you to live in it the life you please…Help yourself to it.” When I’m volunteering, that’s how I feel. ‘You gave me the desire to be here, you opened the doors and on top of it all, it feels good.’
Now before anyone writes that I don’t have to perform for Him, I know. No one can ever accomplish or do enough to earn His love. But because He loves me, I give my time and talent back to him. So Happy Easter, Lord. I give myself back to you this year.