Gifts often obscure the giver, when we are more interested in what we are receiving. This is never more clear than in our lives of faith, when we celebrate the grace and gifts of God, but often we never move back toward the giver.
Can we learn again to say, with Tagore,
…raise me from
the still-gathering heap of your gifts
into the bare infinity of your uncrowded
Here is the entire poem (by Rabindranath Tagore [trans. from Bengali], in Fruit Gathering, XXVIII).
Time after time I came to your gate with raised hands, asking for more and yet more.
You gave and gave, now in slow measure, now in sudden excess.
I took some, and some things I let drop; some lay heavy on my hands; some I made into playthings and broke them when tired; till the wrecks and the hoard of your gifts grew immense, hiding you, and the ceaseless expectation wore my heart out.
Take, oh take–has now become my cry.
Shatter all from this beggar’s bowl: put out this lamp of the importunate watcher: hold my hands, raise me from the still-gathering heap of your gifts into the bare infinity of your uncrowded presence.