The Five Love Languages: Receiving Gifts

Rev. Pat Bessey

Rev. Pat Bessey

My heart is full as I pass the two year mark of being the Lead Minister here at Unity of Greater Portland. It has been an amazing journey and as we move toward the Annual Meeting on Sunday which for me represents the beginning of a new glorious year. We have so much to be thankful for as a community. The activities, classes, silent retreats and other events throughout the year give testimony to the amazing community here at Unity of Greater Portland. It is my greatest desire to celebrate the individual and collective spiritual transformation taking place in this community and that we embody our vision of “Centered in Divine Love we celebrate a spiritually transformed world.”

This past Sunday (yeah…no snow) I continued the series The 5 Love Languages and focused on “receiving gifts.” Gifts are tangible symbols of love.

What is one of the first thoughts you have when someone gives you a gift?

He was thinking of me…

She remembered me…

It is impossible to get a gift for someone without thinking of them or remembering them. The gift itself is a symbol of that thought.

Three things make a great gift:

  • It’s Personal
  • It’s Thoughtful
  • It’s Generous


In our congregation we have a group of folks who make and give away handmade prayer shawls to people who are going through a rough time or who are ill. There are many who are active in the ministry even though they may not be actually knitting or crocheting the prayer shawls but donate the yarn. With every stitch the person knitting or crocheting is praying for the person who will receive the prayer shawl. The time, effort, skill and intention join together to wrap the recipient in the warmth of God’s love and the love of our congregation. You can see that this ministry fulfills the three things that make a great gift.

When we turn our attention to Spirit we also we are given the greatest gift of all the Love of God and from that we give love. Scripture reminds us “We love because God first loved us”. (1 John 4:19)

God is the ultimate Gift Giver.

The sunshine to welcome us into a new day.

A blanket of stars to settle us for sleep.

Needed rain and the fruit of good earth and the gift of life itself.

So if someone special to you has receiving gifts as their love language you are pretty lucky…this is one of the easiest love languages to learn.

A Gift For You
by Rumi

You’ve no idea how hard I’ve looked for a gift to bring You.
Nothing seemed right.
What’s the point of bringing gold to the gold mine, or water to the Ocean.
Everything I came up with was like taking spices to the Orient.
It’s no good giving my heart and my soul because you already have these.
So – I’ve brought you a mirror.

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Pat

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