Posted by: Don Linnen | 31 December 2013

Common Denominator

The last 12 months were full of gifts and losses for many people dear to me.

Gifts dominated the year. Some were given. Some received. Some were tangible. Some not.

Some were huge. Many were tiny. Some were immediate. Some delayed far into the future.

Such is the life of a professional gift planner. It’s also the life of any husband, father, grandfather, and friend.

I still grapple with giving and receiving. Is it easier to give than receive? You’d think I’d know by now. A recent dose of Connie Carrie helped.

As much as gifts dominated my year bringing grins, high fives, and warm hugs, it took only a few losses to sober the year.

People close to me dealt with sudden death, attempted suicide, infidelity, life-changing disease, “simple” surgery, and aging parents. The losses brought grief, anger, and fear – a daunting mix of emotions.

But every cherished friend suffering loss had something in common besides their suffering. Every one of them follows Jesus. Each has a deep and abiding faith.

The gift part of living is easy. The loss part is hard. Every one of my walking-wounded brothers and sisters are terrific witnesses on how – not to make life easy – but to make it good. Their common denominator makes ALL the difference.


  1. Inspiring words and I agree…Jesus makes all the difference!

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