My wife loves extended family connections. For a while we attended a church of largely El Salvadorians with large extended, cross-pollinated families. It meant the world to her to find out that Sabina’s brother-in-law on her husband’s side was the nephew of Fernando’s aunt’s cousin, who married the engineer from Cochabamba in Bolivia.
My eyes glazed over long before we got to Bolivia. After cousins, they are all shirttail relatives to me. To Ann, the most remote shirttail relative is a treasure to be savored and celebrated — and understood so the trail of connectedness could be explained.
What makes Ann find joy in unraveling complex genealogies?
This is the imprint of God’s nature on her that He did not imprint on me. Ann is actually related to every single person in the world through both Adam and Noah. God can bring up all seven billion people and from memory recite accurately how Ann is related to the owner of the Upper Room in Jerusalem, as well as to Genghis Khan.
That is a facet of God that He chose to place in her for her joy. He chose not to place it in me, therefore I don’t find joy in pondering how Ann is related to both Esther and Haman.
Each Giver has some capacities for joy embedded into their DNA by God, so that they can experience immense joy together with the God that originated that joy.
Tragically, most people, Givers and the rest of us, have a potential that they do not know about. We are like the ugly duckling who absorbed the disdain of the community early and accepted that this was reality.
The duckling became a swan but still had no joy until it SAW what had been there all along. Then joy came.
This is an exercise that needs to be done with people’s spirit. You should do it with every portion of the spirit but especially the Giver portion since we all have all seven redemptive gifts expressed in our spirit.
I did this recently with the Servant portion of someone’s spirit. What I did was hold up pictures to see where the Servant felt a spark, and then directed them to refine the picture on their own.
I knew going in that Servant loved restoring land. Because that picture was so clear, Servant (and those around Servant) had never looked further.
I asked about clothes. We went through different kinds of clothes and what stood out was gloves. I sent Servant to the web to look at everything from cutesy gardening gloves to expensive Italian leather motorcycle gloves. She doesn’t have land to garden in or a motorcycle to ride, but she can look at the pictures and recognize what fits her and brings her joy.
I went to weather and asked Servant to explore different kinds of weather and see whether she likes the beginning, middle or end. I explained that with rain, I like the beginning. I love watching a rainstorm come across an open plain and finally pounce on the house where I am. With snow, I love the after. Waking up in the morning to a world of white with not a tiny scar in the perfection of the surface is special.
I told Servant to make a list of all kinds of weather and figure out what she liked and whether it was beginning, middle or end.
We went through her house, room by room to see what was “hers.”
We talked about colors and found the one that landed with her. I encouraged her to get on the web and look at fabric, paint, nature, cars, glass, gemstones, bird feathers and anything else she could think of until she found her exact shade of her color.
I went through all of the “toys” in the home. Turns out Servant was most interested in the camera. So I asked whether her joy would come from the macro or the micro. She didn’t know. So I illustrated it.
“Would you like to go up on a high mountain and take a picture of a grand vista, or would you like to capture one drop of dew on a spiderweb. She came alive with the small stuff.
Step by step I put pictures in front of the Servant portion of her spirit. The Servant rather effortlessly discarded most and grabbed a hold of a few. I gave her nothing. All of those joy-points had come from God, originally. I just helped her find them.
And when I talked to her a day later, she had barely begun to do all the homework I gave her, but just knowing that she was designed to feel joy in those areas had changed her whole personality.
At the end of the day, God has wired each Giver with a wide diversity of joy points. Generally the culture cannot be bothered to discover and unpack the God-given capacities for joy in a Giver.
Therefore, it behooves those around the Giver to do the simple exercise of holding up straw men in areas the Giver has never considered, to find out what their treasures are.
We, the non-Givers, owe it to ourselves to help the swans in our midst to see the reflection of their beauty in a way that transforms their self-image and their connection with God.
The joys that the Giver learned from the culture are many, but they are cheap and tawdry compared to the joy that God imprinted on their DNA at conception. Let’s move from good to great and massively enrich the SLG tribe through unleashing the joy potential of the Givers in our midst.
Copyright May 2016 by Arthur Burk
From the Hub.