A cup of tea and a blanket
Minute Meditations

All the World Is Gift

Apr 23, 2021
Photo by The Retha Ferguson of a black woman's hands carrying fresh oranges in her yellow sweater. Minute Meditations.

When we exist in a world of gift, in which we ourselves are given, then our own labors must be gifts to those around us. To refuse that possibility is to refuse the thanksgiving to which we are properly called. Or, to put it another way, if we are not willing to see our lives and the creation as gifts, then we are not able to properly acknowledge our debts. Being so free, we then feel as though it is in our right to say that others owe us. Thus we can easily sell our labors, without any sense of obligation that perhaps we really owe them. That some should give their labors freely is then, properly, the response of those who owe what cannot be repaid—which includes us all.

— from the book Wendell Berry and the Given Life

by Ragan Sutterfield


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Comments

Fri, 04/23/2021 - 09:42 AM
On one hand I agree & believe this is consistent with the Gospel & a proper antidote to the spirit of "entitlement" so prevalent in our society. Freely we have received, so freely we should give. All that we are & have & all of Creation are the free gifts of God & not entitlements, & so we should freely share with others. On the other hand, each one of us who can needs to work to earn our living, so there is some work & use of our gifts for which we need to get paid or else we would not be able to pay our rent or mortgage, pay for our food, clothing & other needs & wants that cost money.

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