“What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:11-13
Years ago a mother of young children commented to Dianne, “you are so fortunate your son doesn’t beg for everything he sees at the store!” It was one of those statements that I’m sure that mother regrets saying. I know I regret her saying it.
It was also kinda true. Paul only asks for things he knows; he isn’t enticed by advertisements, store displays or fliers. And that isn’t all bad.
But sometimes it would be nice if he could ask for and anticipate receiving a gift from his family.
We include Paul in everything we can in our family, even things we probably shouldn’t for the sake of other people. Opening presents is one of those things we enjoy doing together. But Paul literally doesn’t ask for anything he doesn’t already have. And of the things he has, he really only asks for a small subset of those things.
So, every year every member of the family, including extended family, has to think especially hard about Paul. And we have to be prepared that the gifts he receives may not ever be appreciated or used. Actually that’s a good thing: freely we love our Paul and want to give him good gifts. His response shouldn’t (and doesn’t) change that.
I know, of course, that he is given the daily gifts of a loving family, inclusive church, and access to health care – all of which make him a very rich young man.
But I take even greater comfort that God knows what Paul really needs – and will enjoy – even when I have no clue.