I first came across this piece in the 1980s, in a book written by Sister Kathleen O'Sullivan entitled "A Way of Life - A Human-Spiritual Growth Series for Lay Groups." I have used the book with many groups since, and this passage always seems to "hit the spot" for those of us who find it difficult to believe we're a gift useful for anybody. The book itself is out of print now, but it is still available as a second-hand volume on Amazon and the like......
Persons are Gifts…. at least Jesus thought so:
“Father, I want those you have given me to be where I am.”
Persons are gifts which the Father sends me wrapped.
Some are wrapped very beautifully;
They are very attractive when I first see them.
They come in ordinary wrapping.
Others have been mishandled in the delivery.
Once in a while there is a “Special Delivery”.
Some persons are gifts which are loosely wrapped:
Others very tightly.
But the wrapping is not the gift.
It is so easy to make this mistake.
Sometimes the gift is very easy to open,
sometimes I need others to help.
Is it because they are afraid? Does it hurt?
Maybe they have been opened up before and thrown away.
Could it be that the gift is not for me?
I am a person, therefore I am a gift too.
A gift to myself, first of all, the Father gave myself to me.
Have I really looked inside the wrappings? Afraid to?
Perhaps I have never accepted the gift that I am…
Could it be that there is more inside the wrappings than I think there is?
Maybe I’ve never seen the wonderful gift that I am?
Could the Father’s gifts be anything but beautiful?
I love the gifts which those who love me give me;
Why not this gift from the Father?
And I am a gift to others.
Am I willing to be given by the Father?
A person for others?
Do others have to be content with the wrappings,
never permitted to enjoy the gift?
Persons are gifts, received and given,
like the Son of God,
given by our generous-Giver, God our Father;
like the Spirit, the present-presence of Jesus to us. George T.Nintemann.