“Every sin is an attempt to fly from emptiness.”
Simon Weil, Gravity and Grace
My friend Charlene recommended a book to me. She and I have been weaving our lives using threads from each other’s spindles and spools for a lot of years now and she’s rarely said to me, “you should read this book.” So, when the email arrived with title and author listed, I was on Amazon.com and downloading in minutes.
Weeks later and a few chapters in and I’m both afraid to keep reading and afraid to stop. Some books are like that for me. This is one.
As I sat on my patio late this afternoon, reading and listening to the sounds of Sunday afternoon, I found my list beginning to take shape. Technology in hand – for I was reading my digital version of the book – I recorded the first 12 items on my list and posted them to YouTube. (Crazy world we live it. Crazy good/crazy bad is up to you. And me.)
I share this, half afraid that you will pay attention to the list and not hear what is going on behind the list in the places where my heart is seeking to walk in the way of God – generous and grateful. I’m so often less than neither of those, you could easily miss the whisper and only see the light show.
But I cannot use these excuses to hold back my obedience.
Or, if you prefer words:
1. Sitting in a chair where my mom once sat, enjoying the thought that she would have loved the view as much as I do.
2. White and blue, smooth on a rough pot and filled with brilliant green.
3. Warm breeze filled with humidity and promise of soon-coming rains.
4. Stone upon stone, reminder of promises made and kept and a growing sense of hope for promises yet unfulfilled.
5. Long evening shadows.
6. Weather worn St. Francis whose head has broken off and on whose head the geckos sun themselves in the morning.
7. Gifts from friends who know my heart better than I know it myself sometimes and who cultivate God’s grace growing in me with words and love.
8. Water. Cascading and splashing refreshment. Life and light dance without fear or regret.
9. Red Christmas poinsettia and pink Spring geranium blooming, intermingled in terra-cotta pots.
10. Stones collected and shared.
11. New growth ablaze on the tips of pine, dieffenbachia, and aloe.
12. Bare feet on smooth stone.
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
“One Thousand Gifts beckons you to leave the parched ground of pride, fear, and white-knuckle control and abandon yourself to the God who overflows your cup. It invites you to wake up to God’s everyday blessings, and discover, as Ann did, that in giving thanks for the life you already have, you find the life you’ve always wanted.”
(from the Dayspring website)