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On giving...and receiving...

posted Dec 4, 2018, 8:34 PM by Michael Bray   [ updated Dec 4, 2018, 8:41 PM ]

A few years back I was at my barbershop, and he did his usual thing where he hands me the brush he uses and turns me around to check the cut in the mirror. My barber is excellent, there is never any doubt, but over the years I have learned that this is a very important piece of the process to him.

This time, I asked him about the brush he was using. Nothing really special, a simple plastic brush, but it seemed to do the best job of any I have ever used. So I asked him where I could find one of those to purchase. His reply was to reach into a drawer, hand me a new one, and say..."take this one home."

When I insisted that I should pay for it, he replied with a phrase that has stayed with me ever since. I've used it only a handful of times, because the moment and the recipient have to be right...

"Don't steal my blessing."

I learned something about being a gracious recipient that afternoon. I have always found joy in giving, but I've never been comfortable receiving gifts. This moment, this deceptively simple phrase, and a simple plastic brush... well, I'm working on it.