"Who would ever know the greater graces of comfort and perseverance, mercy and forgiveness, patience and courage, if no shadows fell over a life?" - Ann Voskamp As I read those words, I think of suffering and sorrow. These are bittersweet gifts given to lead one by the hand to a loving Father. The One who was and is and is to come. He is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end. Who can discern this life we life? Who can write asks Voskamp, "the sharp Holy Writ on the page that makes a careful incision into a life, blade words that kindly cut the tissue back to where the soul and spirit join, tenderly laying bare the intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) I have recently read through Hebrews and have found God in the printed words. Amazing but true. THE God of the universe. That He would join me and speak to me is a profound mystery! I struggle through this world. I question and ache, and wonder about what it is all about and does it really matter at all in the end? When will the end come? I so want my life to count. I want to make a difference. I want to stay soft in this often caustic hard world.
In my journal there are a few quotes I've quoted of late. "If you want to change the world, pick up your pen." - Martin Luther "... there are eyes in pencils and pens." - John Piper So what of these words, will my penned words bring sight to a blurry place, a confusing collision of colors; dark and sombre? Or will those words speak of light and joy and peace, illuminating thanksgiving to a God that loves and draws near to those that draw near to him?
In Ann Voskamp's book, "One Thousand Gifts: A dare to live fully right where you are" she issues a challenge. The challenge has a name as ancient as days. Eucharisteo, it means thanksgiving. She presents that Eucharisteo is the secret to a joy filled life. So for the last week I have taken up that challenge to look for opportunities of being thankful in my everyday. I am thrilled to report that I have found unspeakable joy as I pen my words of thanksgiving to God. I find small things that lift me up above the mess and mundanity of life and extend a message of beauty and peace. So, yes, penned words are life changing and bring into sharp focus that which is beautiful and amazing. I encourage you to read Hebrews and Voskamp's book and pen your own words of Eucharisteo. What are you thankful for today?
I will close with this little poem I penned on Tuesday while sitting with Steve near the sea.
"rolling waters sounding out a white and foamy song, curling and folding onto warm golden sand. a chorus of Sun splashing out of parted clouds bouncing joyfully, sparkling bright, a snare drum of white. Green leaves quivering in the ocean breeze with spots of a red fluttering leaf melody. Ropey-reptilian-like palm trunks march towards the rippling sea, a drum cadence of palm fronds interlacing and straight like giant birdless feathers flirting with flight."