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“The MONDAY MEMO” 
A one-page devotional thought.  

  • Writer's pictureGlen Pitts

THE “WHO-WHO” AND THE RITUAL OF GIFTING

“Gifting has become so much a part of our social structure that it’s gotten into a ritualized rut,” claims John Mori.  However, every once in a while, you receive a gift that restores your understanding of authentic giving and receiving.  Such was the case for John Mori, who is associated with the Vancouver Museum.


Totally out of the blue, a unique gift appeared at his door.  It was from Harry Kakinuma, a well-known Canadian sculptor and a teacher who fostered a love for the arts in his students.


Kakinuma had been commissioned by a monastery in British Colombia to do a ceramic sculptor of two nuns.  After completing his work, the monastery rejected the piece that showed two nuns embracing against a storm. After sitting for years collecting dust in his studio, he decided to send it as a gift to John Mori.  Mori was shocked to receive it.  The ceramic sculpture was about 2 ½ feet high and weighed about 53 pounds.  Because it looked to Mori like an owl, he called it the “Who-Who.”


Years later, the Vancouver Museum was preparing a show on Kakinuma’s work.  Mori called them to mention he had a piece of Kakinuma’s work they could borrow.  It turned out that the director of the museum thought this piece had been lost.  There was no record of where it was.  “Who-Who” became a treasured part of the exhibit and got a prime spot in the show.


Sadly, a short time after “Who-Who” came back to Mori’s garden, news came of Harry Kakinuma’s death.  Mori remarked, “I was reminded of something Harry had understood long before I did: that you never really own real gifts.  You take care of them until there’s a time and place for them to move on.  It was wonderful that his gift could find its way back to the people who knew it best.”


We too are not our own!  We are creations of God.  Life is a gift from Him.  We remain his property even though we frequently forget this.  Psalm 24:1 tells us, “The earth and everything in it belong to the Lord.  The world and its people belong to him.”  


“You have been entrusted with a wonderful treasure.  Guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit, who lives within you.”  (II Timothy 1:14 CEV)  We are simply custodians of God’s property, charged and responsible to care and use it in accordance with His planned purpose until – as Mori says – the determined time it too must “move on” to return to the One who owns it and knows it best.  (I Cor. 6:19-20)


Be blessed my friend.

Glen (Pitts)

The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love




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